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Obama to designate first U.S. Atlantic marine monument

By Shawn Price
President Barack Obama on Thursday will designate more than 4,00 square miles of ocean off Cape Cod as the nation's first Atlantic coast National Monument. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
President Barack Obama on Thursday will designate more than 4,00 square miles of ocean off Cape Cod as the nation's first Atlantic coast National Monument. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday is expected to announce the creation of the first Atlantic marine national monument in the United States.

More than a year in the making, the designation will protect an area of undersea peaks and canyons 130 miles southeast off Cape Cod and will be called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the White House said.

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The new national monument will protect 4,913 square miles from fishing or development and is home to endangered turtles and whales as well as deep-sea coral and unique fish. Scientists project the region could warm three times as fast as the rest of the planet.

Though the fishing industry fought the designation, Brad Sewell of the Natural Resources Defense Council declared the opening of the monument "an incredible victory for ocean conservation and climate change."

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