President Obama announced today a massive expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, more than quadrupling the size of the existing monument and thereby creating the world’s largest marine protected area. We’re grateful for the hard work of Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), a real ocean champion who helped rally the community and the country behind the coral reefs, deep-sea habitats, and rich abundance of marine life surrounding the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
Capping off a weeklong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the president underscored today the importance of protecting ocean treasures to strengthen our resilience to climate change and provide a living laboratory that will allow scientists to study its impacts. Today’s announcement is a tremendous gift to the nation and the planet — protecting our beautiful and vulnerable ocean and building its resilience to climate change. Still, it remains the case that not a single mile of the Atlantic has been granted this same protection. It’s time for President Obama to turn his sights to New England’s Coral Canyons and Seamounts and ensure that this unique, biodiverse, and ecologically astounding region gets the protection it deserves.
More information about CLF’s efforts to permanently protect the Coral Canyons and Seamounts off the Atlantic Coast can be found here.