Last week, the State Department hosted the Ocean 2016 conference
“The ocean covers about 70 percent of our planet, provides half of the oxygen we breathe, and feeds more than a billion people — it is our planet’s life support system, but it’s also in danger. National Geographic produced the following video for the opening of the U.S. Secretary of State’s “Our Ocean” Conference. Learn more about why we need to protect it and how global leaders will help. state.gov/ourocean #OurOcean”
President Obama spoke at the conference and later designated 4,913 square miles off the New England coast as a Marine National Monument, the first in the Atlantic Ocean.
From the White House: President Obama just designated the Atlantic’s first-ever marine monument
Today, President Obama designated the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument — which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons — will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles.
Within the boundary lines of this new monument are four massive, underwater mountains — called “seamounts” — and three gigantic canyons. These canyons, deeper than the Grand Canyon, make the monument ripe for future scientific exploration and discovery.
President Obama’s remarks are below.