Subject: Designate Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary
Dear Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator
I am writing to express my support for the nomination of a new National Marine Sanctuary to protect the Hudson Canyon in the New York Bight. The proposed sanctuary, located offshore about 100 miles southeast of the Statue of Liberty, would encompass an ecologically rich area near one of the United States' most populated coastlines.
Hudson Canyon is the largest canyon off the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. and one of the largest submarine canyons in the world. The grand scale and diverse structure of the Canyon make it an ecological hotspot for a vast array of marine wildlife including deep sea corals, sharks and other fish, whales, turtles, and seabirds. The Canyon directly supports the local economy: these productive waters and habitats are essential to this marine wildlife, as well as the fish and invertebrates that our commercial and recreational fisheries depend on. It is also important to recreational divers, the tourism industry, shipping, and deep sea cables, which are critical for connecting New York and New Jersey to the rest of the world. I am asking for a sanctuary to be designated that would protect the Canyon and its resources for future generations, and to permanently protect against it oil, gas, and mineral exploration and extraction.
All aspects of the establishment of National Marine Sanctuaries involve significant stakeholder input, from the initial nomination of a sanctuary through its management after its creation. 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.
The marine waters of New York and New Jersey sustain a world-class metropolitan region, a rich maritime history, highly productive fisheries, and a rich diversity of marine life, thus deserving recognition as a national treasure. 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. I support the nomination of Hudson Canyon, and urge you to begin the public process for its designation as a National Marine Sanctuary promptly.