President Obama Protects Offshore Areas from Drilling

December 21, 2016

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Photo Credit: ©Julie Larsen Maher

President Barack Obama has withdrawn offshore areas in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans from future oil and gas development, including the Hudson Canyon off the coast of New York.

"This is a good step toward conserving vulnerable marine species," said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper in a statement, "and also safeguarding the livelihoods of people who depend on marine resources, including fisheries which could be greatly impacted by fossil fuel development."

Last month, WCS's New York Aquarium led a diverse coalition of aquariums, NGOs, local fishing groups, scientists, and other stakeholders in submitting a proposal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to designate the Hudson Canyon a National Marine Sanctuary. Today's announcement is good news for this diverse but delicate ecosystem, and underscores the need for protection of submarine environments off the Atlantic coast.

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