National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
United States of America

America’s First Urban National Marine Sanctuary

Situated just off of the Maryland coast, the Baltimore Canyon presents an excellent opportunity to connect diverse urban communities to the science of deep-sea exploration through cutting edge technology. Because Baltimore is quickly becoming an established biotechnology hub, the Baltimore Canyon provides an opportunity to create a virtual, high-tech pipeline for the free flow of information between researchers exploring the depths of the Canyon and scientists, educators and, most importantly, students. This virtual connection to the discoveries awaiting us within the Canyon could spark additional tech investments in Baltimore, providing urban students with STEM career pathways, while accelerating public access to the findings uncovered within this mysterious, dark world. It is time to invest in both Baltimore and our deep sea!

Baltimore Canyon: A Unique Ecosystem

  • While only partially explored, the Baltimore Canyon has already proven rich in significant ecological features.
  • Lophelia pertusa, an important, slow-growth, reef-building coral never before seen in the Mid-Atlantic, forms the basis of life in the Canyon and is likely hundreds of years old.
  • Methane cold seeps - a unique, rare biological phenomenon - are to life underwater as sunshine is to life on land, creating a wealth of marine organisms which nourish and support an impressive array of life.
  • An impressively robust and complete food web of bacteria, corals, mussels, sponges, anemones, crabs, lobsters and fish thrive within the Canyon.
  • The Canyon's rich biodiversity attracts and supports migrating species such as tunas, sharks, billfish, marina mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds.

A Call to Action

National Marine Sanctuary Status is awarded to canyons and other marine assets when a critical mass of public interest and support is achieved.

Help the Baltimore Canyon become our Nation’s First Urban National Marine Sanctuary by signing this petition.

The Baltimore Canyon petition to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was written by National Aquarium and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.