Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, 65159-65167 [2016-22921]

Download as PDF Vol. 81 Wednesday, No. 183 September 21, 2016 Part III The President mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 Proclamation 9496—Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 65161 Presidential Documents Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 183 Wednesday, September 21, 2016 Title 3— Proclamation 9496 of September 15, 2016 The President Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation For generations, communities and families have relied on the waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and have told of their wonders. Throughout New England, the maritime trades, and especially fishing, have supported a vibrant way of life, with deep cultural roots and a strong connection to the health of the ocean and the bounty it provides. Over the past several decades, the Nation has made great strides in its stewardship of the ocean, but the ocean faces new threats from varied uses, climate change, and related impacts. Through exploration, we continue to make new discoveries and improve our understanding of ocean ecosystems. In these waters, the Atlantic Ocean meets the continental shelf in a region of great abundance and diversity as well as stark geological relief. The waters are home to many species of deep-sea corals, fish, whales and other marine mammals. Three submarine canyons and, beyond them, four undersea mountains lie in the waters approximately 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod. This area (the canyon and seamount area) includes unique ecological resources that have long been the subject of scientific interest. The canyon and seamount area, which will constitute the monument as set forth in this proclamation, is composed of two units, which showcase two distinct geological features that support vulnerable ecological communities. The Canyons Unit includes three underwater canyons—Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia—and covers approximately 941 square miles. The Seamounts Unit includes four seamounts—Bear, Mytilus, Physalia, and Retriever—and encompasses 3,972 square miles. The canyon and seamount area includes the waters and submerged lands within the coordinates included in the accompanying map. The canyon and seamount area contains objects of historic and scientific interest that are situated upon lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government. These objects are the canyons and seamounts themselves, and the natural resources and ecosystems in and around them. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 The canyons start at the edge of the geological continental shelf and drop from 200 meters to thousands of meters deep. The seamounts are farther off shore, at the start of the New England Seamount chain, rising thousands of meters from the ocean floor. These canyons and seamounts are home to at least 54 species of deep-sea corals, which live at depths of at least 3,900 meters below the sea surface. The corals, together with other structureforming fauna such as sponges and anemones, create a foundation for vibrant deep-sea ecosystems, providing food, spawning habitat, and shelter for an array of fish and invertebrate species. These habitats are extremely sensitive to disturbance from extractive activities. Because of the steep slopes of the canyons and seamounts, oceanographic currents that encounter them create localized eddies and result in upwelling. Currents lift nutrients, like nitrates and phosphates, critical to the growth of phytoplankton from the deep to sunlit surface waters. These nutrients fuel an eruption of phytoplankton and zooplankton that form the base of the food chain. Aggregations of plankton draw large schools of small fish VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 65162 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents and then larger animals that prey on these fish, such as whales, sharks, tunas, and seabirds. Together the geology, currents, and productivity create diverse and vibrant ecosystems. The Canyons Canyons cut deep into the geological continental shelf and slope throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England regions. They are susceptible to active erosion and powerful ocean currents that transport sediments and organic carbon from the shelf through the canyons to the deep ocean floor. In Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia canyons, the hard canyon walls provide habitats for sponges, corals, and other invertebrates that filter food from the water to flourish, and for larger species including squid, octopus, skates, flounders, and crabs. Major oceanographic features, such as currents, temperature gradients, eddies, and fronts, occur on a large scale and influence the distribution patterns of such highly migratory oceanic species as tuna, billfish, and sharks. They provide feeding grounds for these and many other marine species. Toothed whales, such as the endangered sperm whale, and many species of beaked whales are strongly attracted to the environments created by submarine canyons. Surveys of the area show significantly higher numbers of beaked whales present in canyon regions than in non-canyon shelf-edge regions. Endangered sperm whales, iconic in the region due to the historic importance of the species to New England’s whaling communities, preferentially inhabit the U.S. Atlantic continental margin. Two additional species of endangered whales (fin whales and sei whales) have also been observed in the canyon and seamount area. The Seamounts The New England Seamount Chain was formed as the Earth’s crust passed over a stationary hot spot that pushed magma up through the seafloor, and is now composed of more than 30 extinct undersea volcanoes, running like a curved spine from the southern side of Georges Bank to midway across the western Atlantic Ocean. Many of them have characteristic flat tops that were created by erosion by ocean waves and subsidence as the magma cooled. Four of these seamounts—Bear, Physalia, Retriever, and Mytilus—are in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone. Bear Seamount is approximately 100 million years old and the largest of the four; it rises approximately 2,500 meters from the seafloor to within 1,000 meters of the sea surface. Its summit is over 12 miles in diameter. The three smaller seamounts reach to within 2,000 meters of the surface. All four of these seamounts have steep and complex topography that interrupts existing currents, providing a constant supply of plankton and nutrients to the animals that inhabit their sides. They also cause upwelling of nutrient-rich waters toward the ocean surface. Geographically isolated from the continental platform, these seamounts support highly diverse ecological communities with deep-sea corals that are hundreds or thousands of years old and a wide array of other benthic marine organisms not found on the surrounding deep-sea floor. They provide shelter from predators, increased food, nurseries, and spawning areas. The New England seamounts have many rare and endemic species, several of which are new to science and are not known to live anywhere else on Earth. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 The Ecosystem The submarine canyons and seamounts create dynamic currents and eddies that enhance biological productivity and provide feeding grounds for seabirds; pelagic species, including whales, dolphins, and turtles; and highly migratory fish, such as tunas, billfish, and sharks. More than ten species of shark, including great white sharks, are known to utilize the feeding grounds of the canyon and seamount area. Additionally, surveys of leatherback and loggerhead turtles in the area have revealed increased numbers above and immediately adjacent to the canyons and Bear Seamount. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents 65163 Marine birds concentrate in upwelling areas near the canyons and seamounts. Several species of gulls, shearwaters, storm petrels, gannets, skuas, and terns, among others, are regularly observed in the region, sometimes in large aggregations. Recent analysis of geolocation data found that Maine’s vulnerable Atlantic puffin frequents the canyon and seamount area between September and March, indicating a previously unknown wintering habitat for those birds. These canyons and seamounts, and the ecosystem they compose, have long been of intense scientific interest. Scientists from government and academic oceanographic institutions have studied the canyons and seamounts using research vessels, submarines, and remotely operated underwater vehicles for important deep-sea expeditions that have yielded new information about living marine resources. Much remains to be discovered about these unique, isolated environments and their geological, ecological, and biological resources. WHEREAS, the waters and submerged lands in and around the deep-sea canyons Oceanographer, Lydonia, and Gilbert, and the seamounts Bear, Physalia, Retriever, and Mytilus, contain objects of scientific and historic interest that are situated upon lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government; WHEREAS, section 320301 of title 54, United States Code (the ‘‘Antiquities Act’’), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected; WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve the marine environment, including the waters and submerged lands, in the area to be known as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, for the care and management of the objects of historic and scientific interest therein; WHEREAS, the well-being of the United States, the prosperity of its citizens and the protection of the ocean environment are complementary and reinforcing priorities; and the United States continues to act with due regard for the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by other nations under the law of the sea in managing the canyon and seamount area and does not compromise the readiness, training, and global mobility of the U.S. Armed Forces when establishing marine protected areas; mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument (monument) and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map entitled ‘‘Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument,’’ which is attached hereto, and forms a part of this proclamation. The Federal lands and interests in lands reserved consist of approximately 4,913 square miles, which is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected. The establishment of the monument is subject to valid existing rights. All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of the monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, leasing, or other disposition under the public land laws to the extent that those laws apply, including but not limited to, withdrawal from location, entry and patent under mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to development of oil and gas, minerals, geothermal, VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 65164 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents or renewable energy. Lands and interest in lands within the monument not owned or controlled by the United States shall be reserved as part of the monument upon acquisition of title or control by the United States. Management of the Marine National Monument The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior (Secretaries) shall share management responsibility for the monument. The Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, shall have responsibility for management of activities and species within the monument under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Endangered Species Act (for species regulated by NOAA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and any other applicable Department of Commerce legal authorities. The Secretary of the Interior, through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, shall have responsibility for management of activities and species within the monument under its applicable legal authorities, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the Refuge Recreation Act, and the Endangered Species Act (for species regulated by FWS), and Public Law 98–532 and Executive Order 6166 of June 10, 1933. The Secretaries shall prepare a joint management plan, within their respective authorities, for the monument within 3 years of the date of this proclamation, and shall promulgate as appropriate implementing regulations, within their respective authorities, that address any further specific actions necessary for the proper care and management of the objects and area identified in this proclamation. The Secretaries shall revise and update the management plan as necessary. In developing and implementing any management plans and any management rules and regulations, the Secretaries shall consult, designate, and involve as cooperating agencies the agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise, including the Department of Defense and Department of State, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations. In addition, the Secretaries shall work to continue advances in resource protection in the Monument area that have resulted from a strong culture of collaboration and enhanced stewardship of marine resources. This proclamation shall be applied in accordance with international law, and the Secretaries shall coordinate with the Department of State to that end. The management plans and their implementing regulations shall not unlawfully restrict navigation and overflight and other internationally recognized lawful uses of the sea in the monument and shall incorporate the provisions of this proclamation regarding U.S. Armed Forces actions and compliance with international law. No restrictions shall apply to or be enforced against a person who is not a citizen, national, or resident alien of the United States (including foreign flag vessels) unless in accordance with international law. Also, in accordance with international law, no restrictions shall apply to foreign warships, naval auxiliaries, and other vessels owned or operated by a state and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service, in order to fully respect the sovereign immunity of such vessels under international law. Restrictions mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 Prohibited Activities The Secretaries shall prohibit, to the extent consistent with international law, any person from conducting or causing to be conducted the following activities: 1. Exploring for, developing, or producing oil and gas or minerals, or undertaking any other energy exploration or development activities within the monument. 2. Using or attempting to use poisons, electrical charges, or explosives in the collection or harvest of a monument resource. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents 65165 3. Introducing or otherwise releasing an introduced species from within or into the monument. 4. Removing, moving, taking, harvesting, possessing, injuring, disturbing, or damaging, or attempting to remove, move, take, harvest, possess, injure, disturb, or damage, any living or nonliving monument resource, except as provided under regulated activities below. 5. Drilling into, anchoring, dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged lands; or constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the submerged lands, except for scientific instruments and constructing or maintaining submarine cables. 6. Fishing commercially or possessing commercial fishing gear except when stowed and not available for immediate use during passage without interruption through the monument, except for the red crab fishery and the American lobster fishery as regulated below. Regulated Activities Subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretaries deem appropriate, the Secretaries, pursuant to their respective authorities, to the extent consistent with international law, may permit any of the following activities regulated by this proclamation if such activity is consistent with the care and management of the objects within the monument and is not prohibited as specified above: 1. Research and scientific exploration designed to further understanding of monument resources and qualities or knowledge of the North Atlantic Ocean ecosystem and resources. 2. Activities that will further the educational value of the monument or will assist in the conservation and management of the monument. 3. Anchoring scientific instruments. 4. Recreational fishing in accordance with applicable fishery management plans and other applicable laws and other requirements. 5. Commercial fishing for red crab and American lobster for a period of not more than 7 years from the date of this proclamation, in accordance with applicable fishery management plans and other regulations, and under permits in effect on the date of this proclamation. After 7 years, red crab and American lobster commercial fishing is prohibited in the monument. 6. Other activities that do not impact monument resources, such as sailing or bird and marine mammal watching so long as those activities are conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Nothing in this proclamation is intended to require that the Secretaries issue individual permits in order to allow such activities. 7. Construction and maintenance of submarine cables. Regulation of Scientific Exploration and Research The prohibitions required by this proclamation shall not restrict scientific exploration or research activities by or for the Secretaries, and nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to require a permit or other authorization from the other Secretary for their respective scientific activities. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 Emergencies and Law Enforcement Activities The prohibitions required by this proclamation shall not apply to activities necessary to respond to emergencies threatening life, property, or the environment, or to activities necessary for law enforcement purposes. U.S. Armed Forces 1. The prohibitions required by this proclamation shall not apply to activities and exercises of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those carried out by the United States Coast Guard. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 65166 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents 2. The U.S. Armed Forces shall ensure, by the adoption of appropriate measures not impairing operations or operation capabilities, that its vessels and aircraft act in a manner consistent so far as is practicable, with this proclamation. 3. In the event of threatened or actual destruction of, loss of, or injury to a monument resource or quality resulting from an incident, including but not limited to spills and groundings, caused by a component of the Department of Defense or the United States Coast Guard, the cognizant component shall promptly coordinate with the Secretaries for the purpose of taking appropriate action to respond to and mitigate any harm and, if possible, restore or replace the monument resource or quality. 4. Nothing in this proclamation or any regulation implementing it shall limit or otherwise affect the U.S. Armed Forces’ discretion to use, maintain, improve, manage or control any property under the administrative control of a Military Department or otherwise limit the availability of such property for military mission purposes, including, but not limited to, defensive areas and airspace reservations. Other Provisions Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation. Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any lands thereof. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortyfirst. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 Billing code 3295–F6–P 65167 [FR Doc. 2016–22921 Filed 9–20–16; 11:15 am] Billing code 3510–07–C VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:37 Sep 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SED0.SGM 21SED0 ED21SE16.003</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with D0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 / Presidential Documents

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 183 (Wednesday, September 21, 2016)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 65159-65167]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-22921]



[[Page 65159]]

Vol. 81

Wednesday,

No. 183

September 21, 2016

Part III





The President





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Proclamation 9496--Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National 
Monument


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 183 / Wednesday, September 21, 2016 
/ Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 65161]]

                Proclamation 9496 of September 15, 2016

                
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National 
                Monument

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                For generations, communities and families have relied 
                on the waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and have 
                told of their wonders. Throughout New England, the 
                maritime trades, and especially fishing, have supported 
                a vibrant way of life, with deep cultural roots and a 
                strong connection to the health of the ocean and the 
                bounty it provides. Over the past several decades, the 
                Nation has made great strides in its stewardship of the 
                ocean, but the ocean faces new threats from varied 
                uses, climate change, and related impacts. Through 
                exploration, we continue to make new discoveries and 
                improve our understanding of ocean ecosystems. In these 
                waters, the Atlantic Ocean meets the continental shelf 
                in a region of great abundance and diversity as well as 
                stark geological relief. The waters are home to many 
                species of deep-sea corals, fish, whales and other 
                marine mammals. Three submarine canyons and, beyond 
                them, four undersea mountains lie in the waters 
                approximately 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod. This 
                area (the canyon and seamount area) includes unique 
                ecological resources that have long been the subject of 
                scientific interest.

                The canyon and seamount area, which will constitute the 
                monument as set forth in this proclamation, is composed 
                of two units, which showcase two distinct geological 
                features that support vulnerable ecological 
                communities. The Canyons Unit includes three underwater 
                canyons--Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia--and 
                covers approximately 941 square miles. The Seamounts 
                Unit includes four seamounts--Bear, Mytilus, Physalia, 
                and Retriever--and encompasses 3,972 square miles. The 
                canyon and seamount area includes the waters and 
                submerged lands within the coordinates included in the 
                accompanying map. The canyon and seamount area contains 
                objects of historic and scientific interest that are 
                situated upon lands owned or controlled by the Federal 
                Government. These objects are the canyons and seamounts 
                themselves, and the natural resources and ecosystems in 
                and around them.

                The canyons start at the edge of the geological 
                continental shelf and drop from 200 meters to thousands 
                of meters deep. The seamounts are farther off shore, at 
                the start of the New England Seamount chain, rising 
                thousands of meters from the ocean floor. These canyons 
                and seamounts are home to at least 54 species of deep-
                sea corals, which live at depths of at least 3,900 
                meters below the sea surface. The corals, together with 
                other structure-forming fauna such as sponges and 
                anemones, create a foundation for vibrant deep-sea 
                ecosystems, providing food, spawning habitat, and 
                shelter for an array of fish and invertebrate species. 
                These habitats are extremely sensitive to disturbance 
                from extractive activities.

                Because of the steep slopes of the canyons and 
                seamounts, oceanographic currents that encounter them 
                create localized eddies and result in upwelling. 
                Currents lift nutrients, like nitrates and phosphates, 
                critical to the growth of phytoplankton from the deep 
                to sunlit surface waters. These nutrients fuel an 
                eruption of phytoplankton and zooplankton that form the 
                base of the food chain. Aggregations of plankton draw 
                large schools of small fish

[[Page 65162]]

                and then larger animals that prey on these fish, such 
                as whales, sharks, tunas, and seabirds. Together the 
                geology, currents, and productivity create diverse and 
                vibrant ecosystems.

                The Canyons

                Canyons cut deep into the geological continental shelf 
                and slope throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England 
                regions. They are susceptible to active erosion and 
                powerful ocean currents that transport sediments and 
                organic carbon from the shelf through the canyons to 
                the deep ocean floor. In Oceanographer, Gilbert, and 
                Lydonia canyons, the hard canyon walls provide habitats 
                for sponges, corals, and other invertebrates that 
                filter food from the water to flourish, and for larger 
                species including squid, octopus, skates, flounders, 
                and crabs. Major oceanographic features, such as 
                currents, temperature gradients, eddies, and fronts, 
                occur on a large scale and influence the distribution 
                patterns of such highly migratory oceanic species as 
                tuna, billfish, and sharks. They provide feeding 
                grounds for these and many other marine species.

                Toothed whales, such as the endangered sperm whale, and 
                many species of beaked whales are strongly attracted to 
                the environments created by submarine canyons. Surveys 
                of the area show significantly higher numbers of beaked 
                whales present in canyon regions than in non-canyon 
                shelf-edge regions. Endangered sperm whales, iconic in 
                the region due to the historic importance of the 
                species to New England's whaling communities, 
                preferentially inhabit the U.S. Atlantic continental 
                margin. Two additional species of endangered whales 
                (fin whales and sei whales) have also been observed in 
                the canyon and seamount area.

                The Seamounts

                The New England Seamount Chain was formed as the 
                Earth's crust passed over a stationary hot spot that 
                pushed magma up through the seafloor, and is now 
                composed of more than 30 extinct undersea volcanoes, 
                running like a curved spine from the southern side of 
                Georges Bank to midway across the western Atlantic 
                Ocean. Many of them have characteristic flat tops that 
                were created by erosion by ocean waves and subsidence 
                as the magma cooled. Four of these seamounts--Bear, 
                Physalia, Retriever, and Mytilus--are in the United 
                States Exclusive Economic Zone. Bear Seamount is 
                approximately 100 million years old and the largest of 
                the four; it rises approximately 2,500 meters from the 
                seafloor to within 1,000 meters of the sea surface. Its 
                summit is over 12 miles in diameter. The three smaller 
                seamounts reach to within 2,000 meters of the surface. 
                All four of these seamounts have steep and complex 
                topography that interrupts existing currents, providing 
                a constant supply of plankton and nutrients to the 
                animals that inhabit their sides. They also cause 
                upwelling of nutrient-rich waters toward the ocean 
                surface.

                Geographically isolated from the continental platform, 
                these seamounts support highly diverse ecological 
                communities with deep-sea corals that are hundreds or 
                thousands of years old and a wide array of other 
                benthic marine organisms not found on the surrounding 
                deep-sea floor. They provide shelter from predators, 
                increased food, nurseries, and spawning areas. The New 
                England seamounts have many rare and endemic species, 
                several of which are new to science and are not known 
                to live anywhere else on Earth.

                The Ecosystem

                The submarine canyons and seamounts create dynamic 
                currents and eddies that enhance biological 
                productivity and provide feeding grounds for seabirds; 
                pelagic species, including whales, dolphins, and 
                turtles; and highly migratory fish, such as tunas, 
                billfish, and sharks. More than ten species of shark, 
                including great white sharks, are known to utilize the 
                feeding grounds of the canyon and seamount area. 
                Additionally, surveys of leatherback and loggerhead 
                turtles in the area have revealed increased numbers 
                above and immediately adjacent to the canyons and Bear 
                Seamount.

[[Page 65163]]

                Marine birds concentrate in upwelling areas near the 
                canyons and seamounts. Several species of gulls, 
                shearwaters, storm petrels, gannets, skuas, and terns, 
                among others, are regularly observed in the region, 
                sometimes in large aggregations. Recent analysis of 
                geolocation data found that Maine's vulnerable Atlantic 
                puffin frequents the canyon and seamount area between 
                September and March, indicating a previously unknown 
                wintering habitat for those birds.

                These canyons and seamounts, and the ecosystem they 
                compose, have long been of intense scientific interest. 
                Scientists from government and academic oceanographic 
                institutions have studied the canyons and seamounts 
                using research vessels, submarines, and remotely 
                operated underwater vehicles for important deep-sea 
                expeditions that have yielded new information about 
                living marine resources. Much remains to be discovered 
                about these unique, isolated environments and their 
                geological, ecological, and biological resources.

                WHEREAS, the waters and submerged lands in and around 
                the deep-sea canyons Oceanographer, Lydonia, and 
                Gilbert, and the seamounts Bear, Physalia, Retriever, 
                and Mytilus, contain objects of scientific and historic 
                interest that are situated upon lands owned or 
                controlled by the Federal Government;

                WHEREAS, section 320301 of title 54, United States Code 
                (the ``Antiquities Act''), authorizes the President, in 
                his discretion, to declare by public proclamation 
                historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric 
                structures, and other objects of historic or scientific 
                interest that are situated upon the lands owned or 
                controlled by the Federal Government to be national 
                monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of 
                land, the limits of which shall be confined to the 
                smallest area compatible with the proper care and 
                management of the objects to be protected;

                WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve the 
                marine environment, including the waters and submerged 
                lands, in the area to be known as the Northeast Canyons 
                and Seamounts Marine National Monument, for the care 
                and management of the objects of historic and 
                scientific interest therein;

                WHEREAS, the well-being of the United States, the 
                prosperity of its citizens and the protection of the 
                ocean environment are complementary and reinforcing 
                priorities; and the United States continues to act with 
                due regard for the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of 
                the sea enjoyed by other nations under the law of the 
                sea in managing the canyon and seamount area and does 
                not compromise the readiness, training, and global 
                mobility of the U.S. Armed Forces when establishing 
                marine protected areas;

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the 
                United States of America, by the authority vested in me 
                by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, 
                hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are 
                situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or 
                controlled by the Federal Government to be the 
                Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National 
                Monument (monument) and, for the purpose of protecting 
                those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and 
                interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal 
                Government within the boundaries described on the 
                accompanying map entitled ``Northeast Canyons and 
                Seamounts Marine National Monument,'' which is attached 
                hereto, and forms a part of this proclamation. The 
                Federal lands and interests in lands reserved consist 
                of approximately 4,913 square miles, which is the 
                smallest area compatible with the proper care and 
                management of the objects to be protected.

                The establishment of the monument is subject to valid 
                existing rights. All Federal lands and interests in 
                lands within the boundaries of the monument are hereby 
                appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, 
                location, selection, sale, leasing, or other 
                disposition under the public land laws to the extent 
                that those laws apply, including but not limited to, 
                withdrawal from location, entry and patent under mining 
                laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to 
                development of oil and gas, minerals, geothermal,

[[Page 65164]]

                or renewable energy. Lands and interest in lands within 
                the monument not owned or controlled by the United 
                States shall be reserved as part of the monument upon 
                acquisition of title or control by the United States.

                Management of the Marine National Monument

                The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior 
                (Secretaries) shall share management responsibility for 
                the monument. The Secretary of Commerce, through the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
                and in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, 
                shall have responsibility for management of activities 
                and species within the monument under the Magnuson-
                Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the 
                Endangered Species Act (for species regulated by NOAA), 
                the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and any other 
                applicable Department of Commerce legal authorities. 
                The Secretary of the Interior, through the United 
                States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and in 
                consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, shall have 
                responsibility for management of activities and species 
                within the monument under its applicable legal 
                authorities, including the National Wildlife Refuge 
                System Administration Act, the Refuge Recreation Act, 
                and the Endangered Species Act (for species regulated 
                by FWS), and Public Law 98-532 and Executive Order 6166 
                of June 10, 1933.

                The Secretaries shall prepare a joint management plan, 
                within their respective authorities, for the monument 
                within 3 years of the date of this proclamation, and 
                shall promulgate as appropriate implementing 
                regulations, within their respective authorities, that 
                address any further specific actions necessary for the 
                proper care and management of the objects and area 
                identified in this proclamation. The Secretaries shall 
                revise and update the management plan as necessary. In 
                developing and implementing any management plans and 
                any management rules and regulations, the Secretaries 
                shall consult, designate, and involve as cooperating 
                agencies the agencies with jurisdiction or special 
                expertise, including the Department of Defense and 
                Department of State, in accordance with the National 
                Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
                its implementing regulations. In addition, the 
                Secretaries shall work to continue advances in resource 
                protection in the Monument area that have resulted from 
                a strong culture of collaboration and enhanced 
                stewardship of marine resources.

                This proclamation shall be applied in accordance with 
                international law, and the Secretaries shall coordinate 
                with the Department of State to that end. The 
                management plans and their implementing regulations 
                shall not unlawfully restrict navigation and overflight 
                and other internationally recognized lawful uses of the 
                sea in the monument and shall incorporate the 
                provisions of this proclamation regarding U.S. Armed 
                Forces actions and compliance with international law. 
                No restrictions shall apply to or be enforced against a 
                person who is not a citizen, national, or resident 
                alien of the United States (including foreign flag 
                vessels) unless in accordance with international law. 
                Also, in accordance with international law, no 
                restrictions shall apply to foreign warships, naval 
                auxiliaries, and other vessels owned or operated by a 
                state and used, for the time being, only on government 
                non-commercial service, in order to fully respect the 
                sovereign immunity of such vessels under international 
                law.

                Restrictions

                Prohibited Activities

                The Secretaries shall prohibit, to the extent 
                consistent with international law, any person from 
                conducting or causing to be conducted the following 
                activities:

                    1. Exploring for, developing, or producing oil and 
                gas or minerals, or undertaking any other energy 
                exploration or development activities within the 
                monument.
                    2. Using or attempting to use poisons, electrical 
                charges, or explosives in the collection or harvest of 
                a monument resource.

[[Page 65165]]

                    3. Introducing or otherwise releasing an introduced 
                species from within or into the monument.
                    4. Removing, moving, taking, harvesting, 
                possessing, injuring, disturbing, or damaging, or 
                attempting to remove, move, take, harvest, possess, 
                injure, disturb, or damage, any living or nonliving 
                monument resource, except as provided under regulated 
                activities below.
                    5. Drilling into, anchoring, dredging, or otherwise 
                altering the submerged lands; or constructing, placing, 
                or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter 
                on the submerged lands, except for scientific 
                instruments and constructing or maintaining submarine 
                cables.
                    6. Fishing commercially or possessing commercial 
                fishing gear except when stowed and not available for 
                immediate use during passage without interruption 
                through the monument, except for the red crab fishery 
                and the American lobster fishery as regulated below.

                Regulated Activities

                Subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretaries 
                deem appropriate, the Secretaries, pursuant to their 
                respective authorities, to the extent consistent with 
                international law, may permit any of the following 
                activities regulated by this proclamation if such 
                activity is consistent with the care and management of 
                the objects within the monument and is not prohibited 
                as specified above:

                    1. Research and scientific exploration designed to 
                further understanding of monument resources and 
                qualities or knowledge of the North Atlantic Ocean 
                ecosystem and resources.
                    2. Activities that will further the educational 
                value of the monument or will assist in the 
                conservation and management of the monument.
                    3. Anchoring scientific instruments.
                    4. Recreational fishing in accordance with 
                applicable fishery management plans and other 
                applicable laws and other requirements.
                    5. Commercial fishing for red crab and American 
                lobster for a period of not more than 7 years from the 
                date of this proclamation, in accordance with 
                applicable fishery management plans and other 
                regulations, and under permits in effect on the date of 
                this proclamation. After 7 years, red crab and American 
                lobster commercial fishing is prohibited in the 
                monument.
                    6. Other activities that do not impact monument 
                resources, such as sailing or bird and marine mammal 
                watching so long as those activities are conducted in 
                accordance with applicable laws and regulations, 
                including the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Nothing in 
                this proclamation is intended to require that the 
                Secretaries issue individual permits in order to allow 
                such activities.
                    7. Construction and maintenance of submarine 
                cables.

                Regulation of Scientific Exploration and Research

                The prohibitions required by this proclamation shall 
                not restrict scientific exploration or research 
                activities by or for the Secretaries, and nothing in 
                this proclamation shall be construed to require a 
                permit or other authorization from the other Secretary 
                for their respective scientific activities.

                Emergencies and Law Enforcement Activities

                The prohibitions required by this proclamation shall 
                not apply to activities necessary to respond to 
                emergencies threatening life, property, or the 
                environment, or to activities necessary for law 
                enforcement purposes.

                U.S. Armed Forces

                    1. The prohibitions required by this proclamation 
                shall not apply to activities and exercises of the U.S. 
                Armed Forces, including those carried out by the United 
                States Coast Guard.

[[Page 65166]]

                    2. The U.S. Armed Forces shall ensure, by the 
                adoption of appropriate measures not impairing 
                operations or operation capabilities, that its vessels 
                and aircraft act in a manner consistent so far as is 
                practicable, with this proclamation.
                    3. In the event of threatened or actual destruction 
                of, loss of, or injury to a monument resource or 
                quality resulting from an incident, including but not 
                limited to spills and groundings, caused by a component 
                of the Department of Defense or the United States Coast 
                Guard, the cognizant component shall promptly 
                coordinate with the Secretaries for the purpose of 
                taking appropriate action to respond to and mitigate 
                any harm and, if possible, restore or replace the 
                monument resource or quality.
                    4. Nothing in this proclamation or any regulation 
                implementing it shall limit or otherwise affect the 
                U.S. Armed Forces' discretion to use, maintain, 
                improve, manage or control any property under the 
                administrative control of a Military Department or 
                otherwise limit the availability of such property for 
                military mission purposes, including, but not limited 
                to, defensive areas and airspace reservations.

                Other Provisions

                Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke 
                any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; 
                however, the monument shall be the dominant 
                reservation.

                Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not 
                to appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or remove 
                any feature of this monument and not to locate or 
                settle upon any lands thereof.

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United 
                States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

Billing code 3295-F6-P



[[Page 65167]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TD21SE16.003


[FR Doc. 2016-22921
Filed 9-20-16; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3510-07-C