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Deep-water Corals in the Northeast Canyons

Just 100 miles off the most heavily populated coast of North America lie nearly 80 canyons cut into the seabed and continental shelf. The canyons range from 1000 feet to 2.5 miles deep–far deeper than the Grand Canyon. They are almost entirely unexplored. The canyon walls are alive with stands of deep-water corals. The corals form the foundation of dazzling communities of animals, many of which are new to science. Because deep-water corals grow slowly, any damage could mean irreparable loss of these unique ecosystems. Human activity could put these places at risk, highlighting the need to protect them for future generations.


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