Tag Archives: Norfolk Canyon

Push for 35-mile-long canyon off Virginia coast to become marine sanctuary is suddenly put on hold

For more than a year, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center built a case for naming a vast canyon in the Atlantic the next national marine sanctuary. There were dozens of meetings held, hundreds of letters written and thousands of signatures gathered from supporters on a petition. Suddenly and quietly last month, however, an aquarium task force that had been pushing to make the Norfolk Canyon a sanctuary put everything on hold indefinitely. To make a long story short, what happened was Donald Trump. The Republican presidential candidate was elected, and the chances for a lot of conservation initiatives suddenly looked much iffier. “We’re not really sure where this new administration is going to go with environmental protection,” said Mark Swingle, the Virginia Beach aquarium’s director of research and conservation. “The timing just doesn’t look right now. So we just decided to take a pause here to see what’s going to happen.” Read the story here 08:15

Is the Norfolk Canyon the next Atlantic National Marine Sanctuary?

5800f52235f08-imageFor more than a year, the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has been developing a case for making the canyon part of the sanctuary system. It has company. The National Aquarium in Baltimore and the New York Aquarium are working on nominations for ocean canyons off their states as well. “These are incredibly special places, amazing places,” said , the Virginia Aquarium’s director of research and conservation. The Atlantic canyons, of which there are more than 50, large and small, are “biological hot spots,” he said. They’re havens, feeding grounds, nurseries for thousands of species of creatures, from worms burrowing in the deepest sediments to whales breaching on the choppy surface. Swingle is leading the push for the Norfolk Canyon, the southernmost of the big ones. He said the Beach City Council will be asked soon to adopt a resolution of support, after which a nomination will be filed before year’s end with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read the rest here 08:27