(CNSNews.com) – The State Department is hosting a two-day conference on the world’s oceans, beginning today, and it’s expected to produce a raft of announcements and initiatives, including new marine protected areas — one off the coast of New England — as well as a ban on single-use plastic bags.
Ahead of the conference, press reports said President Obama on Thursday will establish the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean to permanently protect nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the coast of New England.
The White House said the designation will lead to a ban on commercial fishing — an industry that made New England famous — but a 7-year exception will be granted for the lobster and red crab industries. Recreational fishing will be allowed within the monument. Mining and drilling will be banned in the protected area.
The designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument marks the 27th time Obama has acted to create or expand a national monument. He has done so unilaterally, using the authorities granted under the Antiquities Act.
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