Obama declares new marine reserve at Oceans summit

September 15, 2016
US President Barack Obama was to address the first day of the Our Oceans meeting where representatives of some 90 countries will meet environmental experts and activists

US President Barack Obama was to announce the creation of a new marine reserve on Thursday as Washington hosted a major world summit on protecting the planet's oceans.

The American leader was to address the first day of the Our Oceans meeting, where ministers and representatives of some 90 countries will meet with environmental experts and activists.

Building on two previous annual meetings, delegates will unveil measures to protect the marine environment from pollution, over fishing and the effects of climate change.

And one of the headlines on day one will be Obama's announcement of the 4,913-square-mile (12,725-square-kilometer) Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

This is an area off the Atlantic coast of New England with three undersea canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and five submerged mountains, home to rare deep sea coral and whales.

Commercial fishing will be restricted in the area, where scientists have warned that warming ocean temperatures are a threat of stocks of salmon, lobster and scallops.

The new national monument follows Obama's recent expansion of the huge Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, and several more countries are expected to declare new reserves.

The summit is to be hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who himself hails from New England and has made ocean protection a priority during his three years in office.

"During our gatherings in 2014 and 2015, nations from across the world committed to designate over six million square kilometers of ocean as marine protected areas," Kerry said.

"We will build on those achievements by announcing over 120 significant ocean conservation projects, including almost $2 billion in new pledges and commitments to protect more than two million square kilometers in new or expanded ."

US under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment Catherine Novelli told reporters 90 countries would be represented along with NGOs and the private sector.

In addition to announcing new marine reserves, the delegates will discuss scientific advances in monitoring pollution and fishing and funding for clean-up measures and protection.

Explore further: Obama creates world's largest marine protected area

Related Stories

Obama creates world's largest marine protected area

August 26, 2016

President Barack Obama on Friday expanded a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating a safe zone for tuna, sea turtles and thousands of other species in what will be the world's largest marine protected area.

Conservationists push for Atlantic's 1st national monument

September 13, 2015

Undersea ravines deeper than the Grand Canyon, submerged mountains rising thousands of feet from the ocean floor and forests of kelp and coral would become the first marine national monument in the Atlantic if conservationists ...

Expanded US ocean preserve to be world's largest (Update)

September 25, 2014

Far off America's shores, an ocean preserve flush with rare seabirds, turtles and marine mammals will grow to roughly three times the size of California under a memorandum that President Barack Obama signed Thursday.

Recommended for you

How stem cells self-organize in the developing embryo

January 16, 2019

Embryonic development is a process of profound physical transformation, one that has challenged researchers for centuries. How do genes and molecules control forces and tissue stiffness to orchestrate the emergence of form ...

60 percent of coffee varieties face 'extinction risk'

January 16, 2019

Three in five species of wild coffee are at risk of extinction as a deadly mix of climate change, disease and deforestation puts the future of the world's favourite beverage in jeopardy, new research warned Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.