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Natural Awakenings

Ocean Victories: Two New Underwater Wilderness Preserves

Jun 01, 2008 03:00AM

The first interstate system of marine parks is now approved, stretching from North Carolina to the Florida Keys. According to Environmental Defense, which helped design the 500,000- acre network, the eight tracts of deep-water corals will protect 73 species of grouper, snapper and tile fish that have been overfished for a century.

An Environmental Defense-led coalition is also celebrating a new 3,240-acre Northeast Ecological Corridor along the eastern corner of Puerto Rico’s main island. It will preserve one of the Caribbean’s last great wild areas, including coral reefs, wetlands, beaches, nesting sites for the endangered leatherback sea turtle, and the adjacent El Yunque rainforest. Nearly 100,000 messages of concern from citizens helped determine the positive outcome.

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