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Underwater Canyon Could Become America’s Newest Marine Sanctuary

Underwater Canyon Could Become America’s Newest Marine Sanctuary

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This summer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants the public to weigh in on whether Hudson Canyon should become part of USA's national marine sanctuary system.

An octopus, sea star, bivalves and dozens of cup coral all share the same overhang in an area adjacent to the Hudson Canyon off the coast of New York and New Jersey.

Hudson Canyon is the largest underwater canyon along the U.S. Atlantic Coast, and is about 100 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The canyon ⁠— about 2 to 2.5 miles deep and up to 7.5 miles wide ⁠— provides habitat for a range of protected and sensitive species, including sperm whales, sea turtles and deep sea corals.

The canyon’s rich biodiversity is integral to the region’s economy, underpinning commercial and recreational fisheries, recreational diving, whale-watching and birding. 

A sanctuary designation would help conserve the area’s rich marine wildlife and habitats, promote sustainable economic activities and create new opportunities for scientific research, ocean education and recreation.

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act allows NOAA to designate and protect areas of the ocean and Great Lakes with special national significance.

Sources
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
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