Four-Fold Expansion of Marine Monument Underscores Commitment to Healthy Oceans

EDF Statement from Amanda Leland, Senior Vice President, Oceans

August 26, 2016
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272,

(WASHINGTON – August 26, 2016) The Obama administration has deepened its investment in protecting the oceans’ most vulnerable creatures—especially in the face of climate change—with the creation of the world’s largest marine protected area. At 582,780 square miles, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is now nearly four times the size of California, covering waters off the coast of the Hawaiian archipelago. Working with the Bush administration, the Environmental Defense Fund played a key role in advocating for the creation of Papahānaumokuākea (in 2006) and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (in 2009), which President Obama expanded in 2014.

“The expansions of the Papahānaumokuākea and the Pacific Remote Islands marine national monuments by President Obama over the last two years represent an unprecedented commitment to the health of our oceans. These areas will help protect whales, sharks and other fish, corals and other increasingly vulnerable creatures. As the world works to combat overfishing, climate change and other threats to our oceans, this type of leadership by the United States is critical.”

       Amanda Leland, senior vice president, Oceans, Environmental Defense Fund

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