The Gulf of Maine’s best kept secret is under threat of being clear-cut. Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range which contains the largest and deepest kelp forest on the Atlantic Seaboard. It is an area of upwelling that brings nutrients to the surface causing the kelp forest to blossom and plankton to bloom. It also serves as a sanctuary and nursery for declining ground fish species as well as endangered whales and sea turtles.
Cashes Ledge has been protected from commercial fishing for fifteen years — which is a huge factor in its success as a bio-diverse ecosystem. This is one of the last areas in the Gulf that remains pristine and largely untouched.
Recently, though, the New England Fisheries Management Council has proposed opening the Ledge to bottom trawling. This destructive form of fishing would effectively clear-cut the kelp forest. Without the nutrient rich and protective kelp, many marine species will not have a place to feed and grow. No more kelp; no more habitat; no more fish.
The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean is taking action through the Expedition PROTECT. With their 60-ft, sailing, research vessel, American Promise, and their ROV, the team will venture out to Cashes Ledge and collect underwater footage of this beautiful ecosystem. After comparing these findings to images of bottom-trawled areas, Rozalia Project aims to make it clear that continued protection of Cashes Ledge is necessary.
Show your support! Follow Rozalia Project’s crew as they share their personal experiences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and their blog. Also, sign the Conservation Law Foundation’s petition to permanently protect Cashes Ledge.
Rozalia Project website: http://www.rozaliaproject.org/
Rozalia Project Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Rozalia
Rozalia Project Twitter handle: @rozaliaproject
Campaign hashtags: #kelpingitreal
Expedition Protect Youtube Videos:
Conservation Law Foundation Cashes Ledge Info Page: http://www.clf.org/cashes-
For a clean ocean,
Rachael Z. Miller
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean