Hudson Canyon Atlantic Marine Sanctuary

Joe Biden’s White House recently proposed the creation of a marine sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York.

The USA have decided to start a process that will safeguard a seabed location called the Hudson Canyon. This location is about 100 miles off the coast of New York. When comparing it to natural structures on land, it is comparable to the Grand Canyon in scale.

What is the Proposal?

The idea is to protect Hudson Canyon, conserving and restoring this special marine place to the extent it makes a lasting legacy for the future. Part of the Biden administration’s “America the Beautiful” pledge, protecting the Hudson Canyon will help reach the target of preserving 30 percent of the United State’s lands and waters in a natural state by 2030. Currently, 14% of their total land area is protected.

Why Now?

In a world increasingly dedicated to improving the environment and watching out for how we treat it, it makes total sense to protect our world right now. It’s a move that will help safeguard biodiversity in our oceans.

With an area that has zero fishing permitted, one can expect a positive and long-lasting effect on marine life populations, as has been seen in other areas of the world. At present, overfishing is reducing fish populations, changing marine food chains in ways we can’t yet fully understand.

This ocean area is up to 2.5 miles deep and up to 7.5 miles wide and provides a habitat for endangered and protected species like sperm whales.

Will it Work?

We’d like to think it will. Certainly conservation areas like this have been proven to work and if the area is protected, we could assume there won’t be any drilling for oil or gas there. Thing is, being protected may not guarantee protection from all damaging activities, if at all.

The Trump administration had been eager to allow the exploitation of protected habitats in Alaska, as well as repealing some marine conservation executive orders implemented by Obama. This shows us anything one president the United States implements could easily be undone by another.

We have absolutely no guarantee environmentally damaging permits like the now suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge granted by the Trump administration will not be granted in protected areas again.

How can we possibly believe this new conservation area will last, or even be respected by the very country that put it into place?

Any work to preserve our oceans for future generations is welcomed, but we just hope talk and signed pieces of paper are backed up by real action.