Papahānaumokuākea the world’s largest MPA

by Alan Yeung 2016-08-27

The White House has just announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, thus creating the world’s largest marine reserve with an aim to protect coral reefs and other marine habitats.

President Obama’s designation will quadruple the size of the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands’ no-take reserve, expanding the total protected area of the monument from 139,797 to 582,578 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers). Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is a national monument first designated by President George W. Bush in 2006 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. At the far northwestern end of the monument lie the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Kure Atoll, and Midway Atoll, which is about 1,300 miles (2,100 kilometers) from Honolulu, HI.

This is a triumph of tireless efforts by many scientists and conservationists over many years (Head tip: Steve Palumbi).

As Steve Palumbi told me in writing:

“This historic conservation action is something I have been working on with many others.”

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We should tell more of this story…