Palau, located in the western Pacific Ocean, is world renowned for its healthy and incredibly diverse marine ecosystem. Home to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, the Micronesian island nation has been called one of the seven underwater wonders of the world. The nutrient-rich waters are teeming with sharks, turtles, manta rays, dugongs and tropical fish.
The president of Palau requested technical support from Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy project to help create the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which at 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers), is one of the largest fully protected areas in the world. With creation of the sanctuary, Palau has set aside a higher percentage of its marine zone for full protection than any other country in the world.