New England's Ocean Treasures

Fact Sheet
March 03, 2016

Two of the nation’s most spectacular ocean areas lie off New England shores: Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts. The two areas serve as vital refuges for a stunning diversity of ocean wildlife and habitats, including delicate and ancient coldwater coral gardens, vast kelp forests, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, seabirds, and fish. The health of these areas is also important to the tourism, recreation, and other sectors of the New England economy that depend on abundant fish and wildlife. Although largely pristine currently, the Canyons and Seamounts area and Cashes Ledge are highly vulnerable to long-term harm from commercial fishing, oil and gas exploration, and other resource extraction activities. Hundreds of thousands of scientists, educators, business owners, boaters, surfers, beachgoers, and members of faith-based organizations—together with the region’s leading aquaria and conservation organizations, representing millions more people—support permanent protection of these areas. We have an historic opportunity to forever protect these unique biodiversity hot spots.