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Protections Restored for Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Monument!

Surfrider is celebrating stronger protections for Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument after years of advocacy to protect this special place. 

Located 130 miles off the coast of New England, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument encompasses some of the most productive and sensitive ocean habitat in the Atlantic Ocean. The monument includes three undersea canyons and four seamounts, and is home to deep sea corals, endangered whales, sea turtles, and many species of fish and marine life. This amazing region of the Atlantic was designated as a national monument by President Obama in 2016 to ensure its lasting protection.

Eight years later, the federal administration is delivering on this commitment to protect the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. On June 4, 2024, the Biden Administration released the final management plan for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, marking a critical step to ensuring the proper care and management of fragile monument resources. The new plan restores critical prohibitions on commercial fishing that were included in the original designation document, but were weakened under the Trump administration in 2020.

“We are thrilled to see that the Biden Administration released a final management plan for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. As this is the only marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, ensuring it is protected is key to our mission at Surfrider. Our Northeast Chapters look forward to continuing to work with coalition partners to spread community involvement to achieve the future goals of the plan," said Isabella DeFrancesco, Northeast Regional Manager of the Surfrider Foundation.


Surfrider worked with our Northeast Chapter Network and coalition partners to advocate for a final management plan that includes the original management provisions delineated in the Presidential Proclamations of 2016 and 2021. Surfrider members participated in the agency public hearing and comment period in the fall of 2023. We educated our supporters and the public through our Instagram page @surfridernortheast and other social media channels. Finally, Surfrider submitted a comment letter to USFW and NOAA on behalf of our U.S. network to ask the agencies to restore protections (see here). 

Surfrider will continue to urge our federal government to strengthen marine protected areas (MPAs), including National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments. We also will continue our advocacy in Congress to ensure sufficient laws and funding to protect marine resources. To learn more about these efforts, please visit our Strengthen National Marine Sanctuaries Campaign Page.