Protections restored for marine national monument in U.S. Northeast

A large bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea) was observed during a dive to the Retriever Seamount during the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition.
A large bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea) was observed during a dive to the Retriever Seamount during NOAA's 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition. (NOAA OER/NOAA Ocean Explorer)

On Friday, Oct. 8, the Biden-Harris administration will issue proclamations restoring protections for three national monuments of historical, cultural, and natural significance — including the unique underwater ecosystem of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

Preserving this special place, and the species that call it home, ensures that the monument will continue to serve as a living laboratory to advance our understanding of the ocean and protect marine ecosystems for current and future generations. Over the summer, scientists aboard NOAA’s research vessel Okeanos Explorer studied this remote environment using cutting-edge underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology, and shared the amazing findings from their deep sea dives with the world.

The monument will be restored to conditions originally established in 2016 by the Obama Administration. Commercial fishing in the national monument is prohibited, with fishing for red crab and American lobster phased out by September 15, 2023. Recreational fishing in the monument is permitted.

More: Learn about the protections in place for these national monuments.