Statement on Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Silver Spring, Md. – June 7, 2020 – National Marine Sanctuary Foundation President and CEO Kris Sarri released the following statement on the Administration’s weakening of protections for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument:

“The undersea canyons and seamounts of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean – are home to fragile deep marine ecosystems that support a rich diversity of life. The majesty that lies beneath the waves may be difficult for most people to see, but there are habitats unlike any other on earth, and they belong to all of us. 

“One of the most effective tools for protecting fisheries, other marine life, and habitats are protected areas, such as national marine sanctuaries, marine national monuments, national parks, and wildlife refuges.  They conserve biodiversity, improve resilience to climate change, and they strengthen our fisheries.  Fully protected areas, such as marine monuments, give fish and marine wildlife time to grow larger and produce more offspring.  The surplus “spills over” boundaries and stocks fisheries.  

“To help fishers and coastal communities who rely on the ocean and commercial fishing for their livelihoods and value it as part of their culture, we must protect  biodiversity in places like Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, end overfishing, and address climate change.  Opening up the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, or other marine monuments, to commercial fishing is not the solution.”

Contact: Chip Weiskotten

Director of Strategic Communications

301.608.3040 x 305



The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve America’s maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Learn more at