Biden Admin Announces Plan to Conserve Largest Underwater Canyon Along US Atlantic Coast

The Biden administration has introduced plans to designate Hudson Canyon—the deepest U.S. submarine canyon within the Atlantic Ocean, positioned off the coast of New York and New Jersey—as a nationwide marine sanctuary.

The Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an company throughout the U.S. Division of Commerce, stated its plans to designate the positioning as a sanctuary would supply particular federal safety to “help conserve the area’s rich marine wildlife and habitats, promote sustainable economic activities, and create new opportunities for scientific research, ocean education, and recreation.”

Hudson Canyon is about 100 miles off the coast of northeastern United States, with depths reaching 2–2.5 miles. It’s as much as 7.5 miles broad.

The area “provides habitat for a range of protected and sensitive species, including sperm whales, sea turtles and deep sea corals,” the NOAA stated in a statement.

According to the White Home, the canyon “boasts deep sea, cold-water coral communities, and contains various shipwrecks, including freighters and United States military radar platforms, dating back to the mid-19th Century.”

The potential sanctuary designation stems from a nomination submitted by the Wildlife Conservation Society in November 2016, which stated the realm offers a variety of advantages to residents of New York and New Jersey, corresponding to clear air, recent water, recreation, and meals.

The NOAA is in search of public feedback on the issues associated to Hudson Canyon’s future administration, together with the potential sanctuary boundaries and data on the indigenous and tribal heritage of the realm.

Public commentary may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal,, till Aug. 8. The docket quantity is NOAA-NOS-2022-0053. The NOAA stated it can additionally host public conferences the place members of the general public can share oral feedback.

The marine sanctuary designation for Hudson Canyon is a part of a collection of steps the Biden administration is taking in efforts to preserve the ocean and handle U.N.-led modelling that predicts catastrophic local weather change, coming after President Joe Biden proclaimed June to be National Ocean Month in recognition of World Ocean Day on June 8.

A part of the Biden administration’s local weather change actions have been the authorization of offshore wind farms within the seas surrounding the Hudson Canyon, which environmental dialog teams have raised critical concerns over (pdf) because of their overlapping with critical habitat for the North Atlantic right whale—one of many planet’s most endangered species.

The Biden administration is about to announce “the rapid deployment and construction of offshore wind farms” later in June, the White Home indicated.

A North Atlantic right whale
A North Atlantic proper whale feeds on the floor of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., on March 28, 2018. (Michael Dwyer/AP Photograph)
Basic view of the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool, Britain, on Sept. 5, 2018. (Phil Noble/File Photograph/Reuters)

Phasing Out Single-Use Plastics in Public Lands

One other initiative contains phasing out the sale of single-use plastic merchandise in public lands, which incorporates 423 nationwide parks.

Particularly, Secretary of the Inside Deb Haaland issued Secretary’s Order 3407 (pdf) that features “schedules and targets to make annual progress toward reducing the procurement, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic products from current levels with a goal of phasing out single-use plastic products by 2032.”

The order is a part of the implementation of Biden’s Government Order 14057, which requires federal companies to scale back waste and assist markets for recycled merchandise.

The order additionally directs the U.S. Division of the Inside (DOI) to determine higher options to single-use plastic merchandise, corresponding to compostable or biodegradable supplies, to scale back plastic waste within the ocean.

Based on the DOI, at the least 14 million tons of plastic find yourself within the ocean yearly.

“Marine species ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, which causes severe injuries and death, and plastic pollution threatens food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change,” the division said in a release.

First-Ever ‘Ocean Climate Action Plan’

Amongst a number of different initiatives the Biden administration is taking to preserve the ocean, it’s taking efforts “to create America’s first-ever Ocean Climate Action Plan and to center environmental justice in ocean science and technology activities and investments,” the White Home introduced.

The White Home stated the administration will develop and implement “a first-ever, whole-of-government Ocean Climate Action Plan,” which it says will “guide significant ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation actions, including green shipping, ocean-based renewable energy, blue carbon, and other ocean-related solutions.”

The Ocean Coverage Committee, first established by Executive Order in 2018 underneath the Trump administration and codified into regulation by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, will work with the White Home Local weather Coverage Workplace on the plan.

The identical committee will even develop a “National Sustainable Ocean Plan,” which the White Home says “will help guide sustainable economic development of U.S. ocean and coastal waters.”

Mimi Nguyen Ly


Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based mostly in Australia. She covers world information with a concentrate on U.S. information. Contact her at

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