View and share this National Geographic article that takes you to amazing underwater, pristine places that have been set aside as marine protected areas. Places where endangered species can have a second chance to exist, and fish populations can recover. One such place is Cortes Bank, a seamount off San Diego, another is Cashes Ledge, 100 miles northeast of Boston Harbor and the highest undersea mountain in the Gulf of Maine.
Update: Celebrating The Year of the Reef
During 2018 we are celebrating The International Year of The Reef. Over the next few months we will increase the frequency of our articles on the world’s coral reef ecosystems. We will include current news on the health of reefs and the worldwide efforts to maintain and restore them. In addition, we will republish a variety of our past, but still very pertinent and helpful articles on coral reefs. Our hope is that this effort will focus more attention on these very important issues.
The Yellowstone of the North Atlantic is a Pristine Place
Sylvia Earle an oceanographer and National Geographic explorer-in-residence calls Cashes “The Yellowstone of the North Atlantic.”
President Obama created the first marine monument off the US Atlantic Coast, compassing nearly 5,000 square miles and called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Monument. Unfortunately, the opposition of the fishing industry caused Cashes Ledge not to be included and conservationist caution that with a Trump Presidency, Obama’s efforts may be in jeopardy.
Climate Change is having a profound effect on the health of the ocean and combined with over fishing and pollution account for the loss of half of all commercial fish since 1970. Ocean temperatures are rising and the water has become 30% more acidic resulting in coral bleaching and a threat to shellfish reproduction. However when marine protected areas are created these areas can stage a remarkable comeback.
To read about the need to preserve our last pristine places see this National Geographic 2017 February article written by Cynthia Barnett and accompanied by the spectacular underwater photographs of Brian Skerry.