On the very same day that NOAA Fisheries sent their porgy decision to the federal register for publication the following morning, the Biden administration was announcing that it will begin the process for safeguarding the Hudson Canyon while endorsing its designation as one of the nation’s next underwater parks.
As reported June 8 in the Washington Post, “the push to add it to the National Marine Sanctuary System reflects the Biden administration’s broader effort to safeguard critical habitat threatened by development and global warming by conserving 30 percent of the nation’s land and waters by 2030.”
In addition to kicking off the potential designation of the Hudson Canyon as a new national marine sanctuary, the White House also vowed to develop a “whole-of-government Ocean Climate Action Plan” on ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
NOAA Fisheries has officially opened the public comment period for folks to weigh in on the concept of turning the Hudson Canyon off the coast of New York and New Jersey into a NOAA into a designated “national marine sanctuary,” which according to the national fisheries agency would “help conserve the area’s rich marine wildlife and habitats, promote sustainable economic activities and create new opportunities for scientific research, ocean education and recreation.”
“The canyon’s rich biodiversity is integral to the region’s economy, underpinning commercial and recreational fisheries, recreational diving, whale-watching and birding,” NOAA Fisheries noted in a follow-up press bulletin.
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act allows NOAA to designate and protect areas of the ocean and Great Lakes with special national significance. As directed by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, NOAA and other federal agencies are pursuing “a holistic approach to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience to climate change and its impacts, including by conserving and restoring ocean and coastal ecosystems.”
According to NOAA Fisheries, the public can comment on the proposed Hudson Canyon sanctuary designation until August 8, 2022, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The docket number is NOAA-NOS-2022-0053. In addition, NOAA will host a series of public meetings during which members of the public can offer oral comments.