Mass Audubon supports the permanent protection of New England’s offshore treasures: Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts Area. Protecting these special ocean places from current and future threats will help ensure the health and biodiversity of the region’s ocean waters for generations to come.
The New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts Area and Cashes Ledge are striking examples of what a healthy ocean should look like—a living seabed covered in rare and vibrant cold-water corals or a thriving kelp forest, schools of iconic New England fish swimming above, and regular visits by a variety of whales, sea birds, sea turtles, and large predatory fish like sharks, tuna, and swordfish.
Their ecological integrity makes them important to the broader regional ecosystem, helps them to contribute to the regional ocean economy, and makes them living laboratories for scientists hoping to learn about the health and function of New England’s oceans. The species that they support are critical for New England’s vibrant whale watching, recreational fishing, and seabird viewing industries.
Fragile Habitats at Risk
A combination of use restrictions and natural protective features has kept these special ocean places remarkably free from human disturbance to date. But the push to exploit more and more places puts these fragile habitats at risk. Permanent and holistic protection of these offshore marine jewels from all commercial extractive activity will preserve them as thriving biodiversity hot spots and living marine laboratories. Such protection can also build resilience against the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.
America has a long tradition of protecting our remarkable natural heritage and biological bounty. In contrast to our public lands and the Pacific Ocean, where very large areas have been protected, no areas fully protected from commercial extraction exist in the U.S. Atlantic. Now is the time to right the balance, and safeguard these marine treasures to avoid irreversible damage to remarkable ecosystems
Join Conservation Law Foundation, Mass Audubon, and world renowned National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theater on September 2, 2015. See Skerry’s amazing photographs, speak with members from many environmental groups, and show your support for protecting these marine treasures. RSVP for the free event
Find out why Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts Area are dubbed the Jewels of the Atlantic. Learn more