Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Earthjustice Responds To Announcement of Creation of First Atlantic Marine Monument

Earthjustice applauds President Obama’s decision to protect what some call the ‘Serengeti of the Atlantic Ocean’

Today, President Obama announced the creation of the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The monument, officially named the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, would protect critical ocean habitat around a series of deep-water seamounts and canyons in Georges Bank, about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It would permanently protect nursery areas and help preserve habitat that has become even more critical as climate change causes the oceans to warm. The designation will protect a forest of deep-sea coral and sponges, which Peter Auster, a scientist with the University of Connecticut and the Mystic Aquarium, said resemble “a veritable Dr. Seuss garden.” These coral communities provide food, spawning habitat and shelter for masses of fish and other ocean species.

The following is a statement from Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice:
“President Obama has taken a vital step today by designating the first major national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, permanently protecting rich and unique ocean waters. In taking this step under the Antiquities Act, President Obama listened to marine biologists and other scientists who stressed the striking abundance of marine life in these irreplaceable areas, which have remained largely unaffected by human activity so far. One marine biologist said the wildlife population densities in these areas ‘are like a time machine to the New England of 400 years ago.’

“Such pristine locations provide important nursery areas and protective habitat for a wide variety of life, from sperm whales, dolphins and deep sea corals to a wide variety of fish and ocean plant species. Protecting special places like this provides an especially important buffer against the impacts of climate change.”


Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.

Appeals Court Orders Release of Secret Memo Barr 'Used to Undercut the Mueller Report'

While the DOJ has not announced whether it will appeal, a spokesperson for the watchdog behind the case said that "the American people deserve to know what it says. Now they will."

Jessica Corbett ·

Trans Girls in Utah Can Play School Sports After Judge Blocks Discriminatory Law

"Our daughter just wants the same chance as other kids to make friends and play on the team she loves," said one parent plaintiff. "Today's ruling gives her the opportunity to do that."

Brett Wilkins ·

'Deeply Dangerous Nonsense': Treasury Dept. Debunks GOP Lies About 87,000 Armed IRS Agents

The intensity with which Republicans "are coming at this is really a testament to how important these resources are going to be—because there are many wealthy tax evaders that stand to lose a lot," said one official.

Kenny Stancil ·

Michigan Judge Blocks Enforcement of 'Dangerous and Chilling' 1931 Abortion Ban

The decision is a "welcome" development "but our work continues," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, vowing to use "every tool in my toolbox to fight like hell for women and healthcare providers."

Jessica Corbett ·

Tlaib Says Biden Must 'Hold Israel Accountable' for Raid on Palestinian Rights Groups

"The silence by our country is enabling more death and violence," said the U.S. congresswoman.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo