President Obama announces the designation of a U.S. marine monument off the coast of New England - an Atlantic sanctuary of about 5000 square miles, featuring mountains, canyons and abundant sea life. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama addresses the 2016 Our Ocean Conference on Thursday (September 15), where he unveiled the designation of a U.S. marine monument off the coast of New England. The 4,913 square mile sanctuary, containing underwater mountains and canyons, will be the first national marine reserve in the Atlantic. The move follows the administration's decision to expand a massive reserve off the coast of Hawaii last month, as Obama looks to cement his environmental legacy before his tenure ends next year. "We're protecting fragile ecosystems off the coast of New England including pristine underseas canyons and sea mounts," said Obama during his remarks on day one of the two-day conference in Washington, DC. Foreign ministers, environment ministers and fisheries ministers are meeting to discuss unsustainable fishing practices, marine pollution, and the effects of climate change on the world's oceans. "The notion that the ocean I grew up with is not something I can pass on to my kids and my grandkids is not acceptable. It's unimaginable," said Obama. "And so the investment that all of us together make here, today, is vital for our economy. It is vital for our foreign policy, it's vital for our national security. But it's also vital for our spirit," Obama said. The United States joined more than 20 countries to announce the creation of 40 new marine sanctuaries around the world to protect the world's oceans from the threat of climate change and pollution. The protected areas are meant to limit commercial development and human impacts on ocean ecosystems. Altogether, countries attending the oceans conference will announce the addition of new sanctuaries covering nearly 460,000 square miles of ocean, an area around the size of the nation of South Africa.