When the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was established in 2006, it was the largest highly protected marine reserve in the world at 140,000 square miles (363,000 square kilometers). Creation of the monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands received bipartisan support in the United States and was followed by the designation of more than a dozen large-scale marine parks around the world, nine larger than this initial effort. As a result, nearly 2 percent of the world’s oceans are set aside with strong protections. Although this is important progress, scientists recommend protecting at least 30 percent.
In 2016, Native Hawaiians asked Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy project to join their efforts to advocate for expansion of Papahānaumokuākea. Enlarging the monument would help reach global conservation targets while protecting important ecosystems and wildlife in the Pacific Ocean.
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On June 24, scientists attending the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Honolulu released a letter to President Barack Obama emphasizing the international marine science community’s unified support for expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Read More
In the grand expanse of U.S. marine waters, few places hold the diversity of life found around Hawaii. That abundance helped drive the 2006 establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which protects 140,000 square miles of ocean and atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; the area is home to more than 7,000 species, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Read More
Papahānaumokuākea (pronounced pa-pa-hah-now-mo-koo-ah-keh-ah) is the Hawaiian name for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. The word refers to a sacred area from which all life springs. This remote archipelago supports key ecosystems, including relatively undisturbed coral reefs, seamounts, pelagic zones, and an array of marine life. These waters are home to more than 7,000... Read More
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Global Ocean Legacy works with local communities, governments and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.