(WASHINGTON – September 25, 2014) The Obama administration’s move this week to create the world’s largest marine protected area signals a historic commitment to the health of the world’s oceans that will help vulnerable creatures and efforts to combat overfishing and climate change. At 490,000 square miles, the Pacific Islands Marine National Monument is now six times its previous size, covering waters controlled by the United States between Hawaii and American Samoa. Working with the Bush administration, the Environmental Defense Fund played a key role in advocating for the creation of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in 2009.
“This commitment by President Obama is a historic down payment on the health of the world’s oceans. The protected area will serve as a critical tool in the protection of whales, sharks and other fish, corals and other increasingly vulnerable creatures. As the world works to combat overfishing, acidification and other threats to our oceans, this type of leadership by the United States is crucial.”
Amanda Leland, vice president, Oceans, Environmental Defense Fund