The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument was officially established by President George W. Bush in 2006. His Presidential Proclamation protected 1,400 miles of the Pacific Northwestern region of the Hawaiian Islands. This proclamation linked many previous conservation efforts to produce the largest protected marine area of its kind at the time.
President Obama built upon President Bush’s initial proclamation to expand the protected area to now include 582,578 square miles of land and sea. The protected region is the world’s largest seabird gathering site, numbering 14 million birds from 22 species. Additionally, it is home to Laysan albatrosses and the remaining endangered Hawaiian monk seals.
The majority of the newly protected region is untouched by human influence. The preservation of the area, in its natural state, is a milestone for current and future generations. The region in Hawaii is a window into what the earth was like before the impact of human activity.
To read more about the expansion, click here.