It’s been a banner year for the National Park Service. The government agency, which oversees over 400 natural and historical landmarks across the U.S., celebrated its 100th anniversary last month, and is on pace to shatter last year’s visitation record of 307-million people.
On August 24th, the eve of the Centennial celebration, President Obama signed a designation creating the 413th national park system unit at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.
While this move was lauded as one of the most substantial, and perhaps last conservation actions POTUS would take during his term, it seems that the President is not done yet.
The White House announced today that President Obama has just given the United States its newest national park unit. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is the nation’s first marine national monument and is a huge step for marine conservation.
The new national monument is located 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts on the southern edge of George’s Bank. It will protect 4,913 square miles of ocean from commercial activity and development, the White House said.
Over the past several decades, the nation has made great strides in its stewardship of the ocean, but the ocean faces new threats from varied uses, climate change, and related impacts. Through exploration, we continue to make new discoveries and improve our understanding of ocean ecosystems. In these waters, the Atlantic Ocean meets the continental shelf in a region of great abundance and diversity as well as stark geological relief. The waters are home to many species of deep-sea corals, fish, whales and other marine mammals.
– President Obama