01/05/2009 - President Bush will designate vast tracts of American-controlled Pacific Ocean islands, reefs, surface waters and sea floor as marine national monuments on Tuesday, limiting fishing, mining, oil exploration or other commercial activity, White House officials said Monday.
The protected zones, including parts of the deep Mariana Trench and a string of largely uninhabited reefs and atolls near the Equator and American Samoa, include a total of 195,280 square miles, an area larger than the states of Washington and Oregon combined.
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“With the designation of the world’s largest marine reserve in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006, and now these three other sites, George W. Bush has done more to protect unique areas of the world’s oceans than any other person in history,” said Joshua Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environmental Group.
Read the full article Bush to Protect Vast New Pacific Tracts on the New York Times' Web site.