Navigate back to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller 

Just 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod lies one of our country’s greatest marine treasures: The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Monument. Here, thousands of feet down in the pitch-black abyss of the Atlantic Ocean, there are mountains larger than anything east of the Rockies and canyons that plunge to depths surpassing the Grand Canyon. These amazing formations meet the warm Gulf Stream and cold Deep Western Boundary Current to create vibrant ecosystems rich with marine life. 

Working alongside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading the development of a Monument Management Plan to guide the Monument's stewards in caring for this special place for the benefit of humanity. 

This Plan establishes the long-term vision and framework needed to provide proper care for the Monument’s unique ecosystem, marine life, and natural and historical resources, as well as set priorities and goals for managing the Monument into the future.  

Why is this Plan needed? 

The Plan is a government mandate for the benefit of the American public. The Plan will guide the Monument’s stewardship to effectively invest resources in protecting, caring for, and sharing the story of this important place.  

What will the Plan consider?

The Plan will consider the Monument’s potential for research, exploration, conservation, learning, engagement, and more!  This is an opportunity to bring forward big and bold ideas on how to care for this ocean habitat so that its wonders may be experienced for generations to come. 

  • How should we conserve and care for this place? 

  • What are the fascinating things we should be investigating? 

  • What are the mysteries that we should explore?  

  • How should we communicate its “awesomeness” and wonder? 

  • How does the community want to engage with the Monument?  

  • What else should we be thinking about as stewards of this special place?  

What will the Plan not consider? 

To care for and protect the unique ocean habitats and incredible creatures that live here, the following activities will not be considered as options for managing the Monument:  

  • Commercial fishing 

  • Exploration or extraction of energy, oil, gas and/or minerals  

  • Releasing or introducing species into the Monument 

  • Altering the submerged lands, except for anchoring research equipment or maintaining submarine cables  

Public Comment 

We want to hear from you! We invite the community to share ideas and suggestions to help set the Monument’s long-term vision and guide stewardship priorities for the Atlantic’s first marine national monument marine national monument
A marine national monument is an ocean area designated by a presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners with the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), state and territorial governments and others to manage marine national monuments that conserve the ocean and remote islands and atolls within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Learn more about marine national monument

To ensure your ideas and comments are taken into consideration, please send them in by January 31st, 2023.* 

Comments or requests for more information can be submitted by: 

E-mail: ncsmnm_planning@fws.gov 

U.S. Mail: Brittany Petersen, Marine Monument Superintendent, USFWS, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035

*In light of the discrepancies between the comment closed date on the Notice of Intent and what has been communicated throughout the planning process, both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration have agreed to take ideas and comments on the management of the monument through January 31st.

 

Planning Process 

*Step 1: Foundation and Problem Analysis – Public Scoping! Bring those ideas; the more brains the better!*

Step 2: Explore Solutions – Stakeholder Focus Groups- taking the public’s ideas to form a foundation and framework to care for the Monument.

Step 3: Confirm range of options and opportunities and develop draft plan – Double-checking the work and getting the foundation and framework down on paper. 

Step 4: Public review of draft plan and environmental assessment- How does this look? Did we capture things correctly? 

Step 5: Analysis of public comment- Thanks for the feedback! We will go back and take a look at it. 

Step 6: Prepare final Plan and decision document- Making edits based on your comments and suggestions.  

Step 7: Release final Plan and decision document to the public- Thank you for your help guiding the direction for the Monument’s stewardship and thriving future!  

*The current step in the planning process*

To stay up to date on the Monument Management planning process, sign up for Monument Management Plan updates.  

Contact Information

Documents

Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument Public Engagement Sessions

A Management Plan is a government mandate for the benefit of the American public. The Plan will guide the Monument’s stewardship to effectively invest resources in protecting, caring for, and sharing the story of this important place. We want to hear from you! We invite the community to share...

Programs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 560 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.

Facilities

Welcome to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument! Located 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, the Monument is a biologically diverse area encompassing 3.1 million acres of open ocean – an area approximately the size of Connecticut. It was established by Presidential...