President to designate first marine monument off East Coast

President Obama will designate a 4,913-square-mile off the New England coastline as the first marine monument off the Atlantic Coast, the Washington Post reported.

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod.

Obama will make the announcement Thursday when he addresses the Our Ocean conference, a global gathering his administration initiated two years ago. The goal of the sanctuary is to meet “the critical conservation needs that science establishes in this area while minimizing the impact on fisheries,” a senior administration official told the paper.

Commercial fishing operations will be banned under the new designation, but recreational fishing activity will be allowed to continue.

According to the paper, President Obama has designated more acreage than any previous president for national monuments at 553 million acres. As with the 215 million acres designated by President George W. Bush, the vast majority of that acreage has been marine monuments.


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