June 09, 2022

Senator Gillibrand Commends NOAA For Launching Process To Designate Hudson Canyon As A National Marine Sanctuary

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand commends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s decision to launch the designation process of Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary (NMS).

An NMS designation would permanently close Hudson Canyon to oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction, while also allowing for responsible fishing within the boundaries of the sanctuary. An NMS designation would also provide increased research and STEM education opportunities.

“I am so pleased to see that NOAA has begun the process to designate Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This designation would be critical to protecting the diverse marine life within Hudson Canyon, and I look forward to seeing the process through to completion. Safeguarding these ecosystems is of paramount importance, especially with the rising threat of climate change, and I will continue working to ensure that New York’s natural treasures are preserved for future generations.”

Hudson Canyon, beginning offshore about 100 miles southeast of the Statue of Liberty and stretching for another 350 miles, is the largest underwater canyon off the Atlantic Coast of the United States, and one of the largest submarine canyons in the world. The proposed sanctuary would encompass an ecologically rich area near one of the U.S.’s most populated coastlines, protecting deep sea corals, marine mammals, fishes, sea turtles, and seabirds, as well as species important to fisheries like squid, crabs and tunas. It would be the first NMS designation in New York and New Jersey ocean waters and the first in deep waters off the Mid-Atlantic Coast.

Senator Gillibrand’s push for the NMS designation of Hudson Canyon is part of her continual commitment to protecting the state’s environment, including having sent a letter in April urging NOAA to designate Hudson Canyon as an NMS. Senator Gillibrand also introduced the NY-NJ Watershed Protection Act back in January, legislation that would safeguard and restore the New York-New Jersey Watershed. The bill would address threats from climate change, legacy pollution, and untreated wastewater.