Will you take a stand for a national park area with 3 deep sea canyons and 4 cold-water coral seamounts?
The Secretary of the Interior is recommending the president open the NE Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to commercial fishing.
Today, more than ever before, deep sea canyon rangers and seamount guardians are needed to make sure critical marine life feeding patterns are not disrupted, that forage fish like squid are not removed to the detriment of whales, tuna, and seabirds, and that whales are not entangled in fishing gear.
Seamount Guardians and Canyon Ranger are being heard in Washington where legislators are concerned for the future of the majestic national park area located 140 miles Southeast of Nantucket, where sperm whales live. They may be able to prevent the boundary lines from being redrawn, but not the releasing of areas to the mineral miners interested in surface strip-mining the ferromanganese crusts of seamounts for tellurium or caving to oil companies applying for leases to drill Lydonia Canyon.
An intelligent, lively, marine national monument, a national park area, would be a terrible thing to waste.
You can take a stand and become a Seamount Guardian and Canyon Ranger. You can be the eyes and ears on the water and on the media. You can be informed and savvy to the ways of the moguls of exploitation. With 150 deep sea canyon rangers, the Ocean River Institute is looking for a few more intrepid individuals.
Sperm Whale home on the briny deep, 140 miles southeast of Nantucket, threatened by oil and gas drilling.
There’s trouble in NE Canyons and Seamounts national park area where cold-water corals thrive and Bear (3,615’), Physalia (6,062’), Mytilus (7,444’), and Retriever (5,967’) Seamounts stand tall.
The NE Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects 4,913 square miles of marine ecosystems.
The national park area begins about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
There are three cold-water coral canyons (west to east), Oceanographer Canyon, Gilbert Canyon, and Lydonia Canyon.
There are four deep-water seamounts, Bear Seamount (3,615 ft) on the continental slope (Mt Monadnock 3,165 ft), further East are Physalia Seamount (6,062 ft) on Sohm Abyssal Plain, along with Mytilus Seamount (7,444 ft) and Retriever Seamount (5,967) (Mt Washington is 6,288 ft).
This park contains the most diverse and abundant deep-sea coral communities in the U.S. North Atlantic. Chunks of deep sea corals caught by a trawler working of the west coast of Ireland were found to be 4500 years old. These are ancient seascapes that give refuge to cod, haddock, pollack, hake and redfish.
The underwater canyons that are cleaved into the continental shelf plunge 10,000 feet deep. This is where sperm whales live. I visited the canyons three times in the 1980’s. Leaving Georges Bank astern and cruising out over the canyon, the sea’s face is a deep blue. A large black boxcar-shaped whale surfaces and blows with a distinctive left-listing spout. During every visit sperm whales were found. However, on my last trip the first sperm whale encountered was dead floating on surface, likely from a ship strike. We have got to manage this place better. The designation as a national park area and the collaborative work of the Northeast Ocean Planning Body is the responsible stewardship this place deserves, but only if citizens stay vigilant as seamount guardians and deep sea canyon rangers.
We are learning from the successful endeavors of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council. Eleven federal representatives, eleven state representatives from the six New England states, and seven tribal nations are actively deliberating with stakeholders, user and interest groups. National Ocean Policy is demonstrating through local workshops and listening session that it takes a nation to manage our ocean.
As a result the NE Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Park is managed in partnership, the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Commerce. They must consult with all other federal agencies with ocean responsibilities.