On September 24, 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama announced it would expand protections for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The president extended the boundaries around three of the monument’s five marine reserves—Johnston Atoll, Wake Atoll, and Jarvis Island—from the area 50 miles from shore, designated by President George W. Bush in 2009, to 200 miles from shore.
Taken together, the expanded protections for the waters around these atolls and islands—which are not contiguous—provide approximately an additional 408,000 square miles (approximately 1,050,000 square kilometers) to the monument. With this announcement, the amount of U.S. ocean territory highly protected has more than doubled, from about 6 percent to 15 percent.
Research shows that highly protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding the abundance and diversity of ocean species and increasing the resilience of habitats and ecosystems to climate change. Healthy oceans also have a greater ability to sequester carbon dioxide and generate oxygen.
The Pew Charitable Trusts worked with scientists, stakeholders, and the public to ensure that the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument received the additional protection it deserved.
President Obama Expands Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in Historic Move
August 13, 2014
A map featuring the world's largest highly protected marine reserves. Read More
One of the great challenges of our time is saving the natural environment and the rich array of life it supports on land and in the sea. Every day, Pew is working across the globe to preserve wilderness, restore biodiversity, and increase understanding of ocean ecology. In 2014, we joined our partners in celebrating successes around the world that will help conserve wildlife habitat and... Read More
On Sept. 25, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a significant expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, a group of five highly protected marine reserves located thousands of miles southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Read More
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.