Aquarium’s March Visit to PS7 Hudson Fair

The ecological significance of Hudson Canyon and its marine biodiversity
– The educational impact and community involvement of the Hudson Canyon Share Fair
– The conservation efforts and the process for Hudson Canyon’s designation as a marine sanctuary
– Exploring the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Exhibit and WCS campaign efforts

The Hudson Canyon, a submarine canyon located off the coast of New York, is one of the largest underwater canyons along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States. This magnificent natural structure is not only a geological wonder but also serves as a bustling habitat for many marine wildlife. The canyon’s profound impact on marine biodiversity includes its function as a feeding ground for fish, an area for whale and shark species, and a hotspot of deep-sea life.

In early March, the significance of Hudson Canyon was brought to the forefront at a community event called the Hudson Canyon Share Fair. This event took place at PS 79 Elementary School in Queens, New York, where over 350 individuals, ranging from third and fourth graders to parents, community members, government leaders, and staff members from the New York Aquarium, gathered to celebrate and share knowledge about this integral part of our marine ecosystem.

During the Share Fair, fourth-grade students took center stage, presenting research projects that showcased the various species dependent on Hudson Canyon. These presentations were a testament to the tireless work and dedication of young learners eager to contribute to the conversation on marine conservation. Their projects highlighted vital reasons for protecting the canyon, including its role in sustaining rich fisheries and sheltering endangered species.

The event underscored the ongoing efforts to secure protection for Hudson Canyon. On World Ocean Day 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) formally designed the canyon as a national marine sanctuary. Such a designation is poised to create a refuge for vulnerable species, promote thriving fisheries, and ensure sustainability for future generations.

The push towards sanctuary status for Hudson Canyon also addresses pressing threats. The ocean floor is subject to various human activities that can lead to irreversible damage. Oil and gas exploration pose significant risks to the canyon’s ecology, threatening the fragility of its ecosystems. Hudson Canyon would be shielded from such exploitative practices as a sanctuary, protecting its diverse habitats.

A further aspect of conservation importance is the vast number of people set to benefit from the sanctuary. Over 22 million individuals from diverse communities across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the mid-Atlantic region are near the canyon. The designation would preserve biodiversity and open up new opportunities for research, recreation, and education, enriching the lives of local residents and visitors alike.

Delving into the wonders of Hudson Canyon, the New York Aquarium offers a firsthand experience through its Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Exhibit. This exhibition invites guests to immerse themselves in the world beneath the waves, focusing on sharks’ pivotal role in ocean ecosystems. It draws a compelling narrative that connects visitors with the enigmatic lives of these ocean predators, many of which depend on areas like Hudson Canyon to survive and thrive.

The involvement of organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) accentuates the collective drive to protect key marine environments. The WCS campaign, accessible through its online platform, provides avenues for public participation. By joining the campaign efforts, individuals can actively advocate for the protection of Hudson Canyon, thereby contributing to a broader movement for conserving our planet’s precious aquatic treasures.

The Hudson Canyon Share Fair at PS 79 Elementary School was a microcosm reflecting the larger movement toward marine conservation. It educated young students and galvanized community members, evoking a shared responsibility to preserve our oceanic resources. It both celebrated the past work done to emphasize Hudson Canyon’s importance and set the stage for an ongoing commitment to its future.

As the processes for securing marine sanctuary status for Hudson Canyon progress, it becomes increasingly clear that every stakeholder has a vital role to play. From classroom education to global campaigns, the collective action taken today will resonate for decades, safeguarding not just Hudson Canyon but the myriad of life it sustains. This endeavor fuels scientific discovery, enriches the human experience, and, most importantly, honors our environmental legacy. The dialogue on marine conservation continues to flourish through the collaborative spirit demonstrated by events like the Share Fair and through the informative exhibits at institutions such as the New York Aquarium.

Engaging with this dialogue, the public is invited to explore, learn, and actively participate in the campaign for Hudson Canyon’s preservation. We are learning more about this spectacular undersea landscape through the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Exhibiting and supporting WCS’s campaign efforts are just two manifold ways to get involved. This shared journey of discovery and stewardship is a crucial aspect of regional pride and an integral part of a global mission to protect our beleaguered oceans. Together, through education, community action, and conservation advocacy, we can look forward to the day when Hudson Canyon is revered not only for the sanctuary it could be but for the sanctuary it is—a beacon of biodiversity, a wellspring for learning, and a bastion for the future of marine life.



Source Description
In early March, the aquarium participated in the Hudson Canyon Share Fair at PS79 Elementary School in Queens. Over 350 people attended the event, including third—and fourth-graders, parents, community members, government leaders, and New York Aquarium staff members. During the Share Fair, fourth graders presented research projects about species that rely on Hudson Canyon and why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) must designate the canyon as a marine sanctuary.

On World Ocean Day 2022, NOAA began designating Hudson Canyon as a national marine sanctuary. The designation of Hudson Canyon would support robust fisheries and sustain many species, including whales and sharks. It would also prevent habitat degradation of fragile ecosystems from oil and gas exploration and provide research, recreation, and education opportunities for the more than 22 million people living in diverse communities across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the mid-Atlantic region.

Learn more about the Hudson Canyon and its vital role in Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Exhibit at the aquarium. You can also get involved in the WCS campaign using the link in your profile.

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