The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed the first-ever national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The designation would protect three deep-sea canyons off the coast of southern New England, and a chain of mountains, Cashes Ledge, in the Gulf of Maine. NOAA is holding a town hall meeting to discuss the proposal tomorrow night.
About 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod—where the continental shelf drops steeply to the ocean floor—there are canyons that plunge more than 7,000 feet deep, and underwater marine mountains that rise thousands of feet above the sea floor.
These areas are home to more than 300 species of deep-sea marine plants and animals. NOAA is considering a way to protect these unique and fragile habitats for decades by calling them a national monument.
That would protect them from human activities that include fishing, oil drilling, and deep sea mining. Federal officials have called a town hall meeting in Providence to hear what the public thinks of the proposal.
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