Protecting Ocean Ecosystems

Protect New England’s Ocean Treasures

The highest peak of Cashes Ledge, Ammen Rock, rises to within 40 feet of the ocean surface and harbors the deepest and largest cold-water kelp forest on the Atlantic seaboard. Photo credit: Brian Skerry / New England Ocean Odyssey

On Wednesday, September 2 the New England Aquarium and the National Geographic Society are hosting an evening of scientific exploration celebrating two of New England’s oceans treasures: the Cashes Ledge Closed Area and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts.

National Geographic photographer and New England Aquarium Explorer-in-Residence Brian Skerry will present videos and images of Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts (including new footage from Dr. Sylvia Earle’s recent dive on Cashes Ledge). He will also lead a panel discussion with some of New England’s most prominent marine scientists.

Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts, 150 miles off Cape Cod, are two spectacular underwater places located off New England’s coast. These precious ecosystems provide refuge for hundreds of species, many of which are rare and unique, and they are critical to the vibrancy of our coastal communities.

During the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013, ROV Deep Discoverer investigated Mytilus Seamount. Corals were diverse on Mytilus Seamount, but the composition and abundance of corals differed between the north and south side of the seamount. We observed this colony of Jasonisis, a bamboo coral, with numerous crinoid associates. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

NOAA’s ROV Deep Discoverer observed diverse corals including this colony of bamboo coral and other invertebrates on Mytilus Seamount during the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

But these treasures are under threat from climate change, industrial exploitation, and fishing. They deserve to be permanently protected from human threats – forever.

The event has already received an overwhelming public response since its announcement. If you are unable to join, stay tuned for other ways that you can speak up for permanent protection of these offshore ocean treasures!

You can read more about the event on the New England Aquarium’s website.


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