(NBC NEWS/NEWS CENTER) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday will establish the first national marine monument in the Atlantic, declaring nearly 5,000 square miles off the New England coastline a fully protected area.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument will protect 4,913 square miles that encompass three deep sea canyons and four underwater mountains. The area is home to rare deep sea corals, endangered whales and some species found nowhere else on the planet.
If we are going to leave our children with oceans like the ones that were left to us, then we're gonna have to act and we are going to have to act boldly," President Obama said at the Our Ocean Conference at the State Department on Thursday.
Supporters say the monument will help sustain important species and reduce the toll of climate change, but many in the fishing industry oppose the move.
The Atlantic Offshore Lobsterman Association says the government is essentially kicking them out of an area where there is a healthy fish population and that there are better ways to protect marine life.
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