Subject: Designate Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary
Dear Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator
I am thrilled to hear that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has completed its detailed reviews and determined that Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary nomination meets the criteria as an ecological site of national significance worthy of protection. Thank you for adding the nomination to the inventory of areas NOAA may consider in the future for national marine sanctuary designation. I urge to you to quickly initiate a designation process to secure this special place from potential threats, such as from oil, gas, and mineral exploration and extraction, while also helping to ensure the future of fisheries and tourism industries that depend on the health of this productive ecosystem.
As the largest canyon off the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. and one of the largest submarine canyons in the world located less than 100 miles from one of the world's largest urban centers a Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary will be mutually beneficial to wildlife, the local economy (including fisheries, tourism and shipping), and tens of millions of residents and visitors to the area. Knowing that these wild areas exist and are protected is important to me.
I call on NOAA to initiate sanctuary designation, which is a thorough stakeholder-driven process. I support the continued engagement of the broad array of stakeholders that rely on Hudson Canyon, and believe that fishing should continue in this economically valuable area, especially in light of recent proactive measures taken to protect deep sea corals and forage species in the region. A sanctuary can complement these and other management efforts by supporting research and excluding incompatible uses. A sanctuary in Hudson Canyon will provide a special place for us to enjoy and use today, while securing an ecological legacy for generations to come. Thank you for moving the nomination into the inventory. Please begin the public process for its designation as a National Marine Sanctuary promptly.