Global Ocean Legacy


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.

Listen to the correct pronunciation of Papahānaumokuākea, and learn more about its meaning.

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Where We Work

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.

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Media Contact

Andrea Risotto

Manager, Communications