In the latest developments for addressing climate change expansion of protected areas are underway under the Biden administration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an arm of the Department of Commerce has announced the newest proposal to add the Hudson Canyon to the list of marine sanctuaries. The canyon itself holds a major portion of the biodiversity of the U.S. Atlantic coast and is considered an important part in the preservation of wildlife.
Since Biden has taken office one of the prerogatives of his administration has been tackling environmental damage as well as global warming. In their new mission the administration has opened up avenues to expand the work being done by government organizations both internationally and domestically. Biden has used executive orders to bypass congress which for years has held back the ability of groups to properly handle conservation efforts and in a multipronged approach has attempt to alleviate the stresses and hand-tying. The executive order issued January 2021 was the first major step towards these goals which can be read here. In another program by the Biden administration the pathway has been set to achieve the goal of having 30 percent of all American land and water as conservation area under the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautifulinitiative which can be seen here. Hopefully this is not where these solutions end as more wildlife habitats come under threat from global warming.
One of the interests in this canyon in particular is its habitat of coral, whales, and sea turtles with the hope that adding this as a sanctuary will protect this fragile environment. According to a NOAA report the canyon is “about 2 to 2.5 miles deep and up to 7.5 miles wide,” off the coast of New York and New Jersey teeming with wildlife that have been seen degrading in the Atlantic over the past decades. Further than the wildlife the area has been important to the maritime industry of New York and New Jersey serving as a spot for commercial fishing, recreational diving, and whale watching. In the canyon itself shipwrecks have become a favorite spot for diving as well as becoming accidental man-made habitats for the local wildlife.
The NOAA publication stated that Hudson Canyon is important to “monitor the impacts of climate change on submarine canyons and other deep sea benthic habitats, which are vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification and oxygen depletion.” Hopefully through this research and preservation efforts the organization intends to create a new zone to better understand climate change as well as protection efforts. To learn more about NOAA and their efforts in battling the damage done to natural habitats, click here and to see the process of adding this area to the sea sanctuary see here.