The largest marine sanctuary is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is not only the largest conservation area in the U.S., it's one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.
It's larger than all of America’s national parks combined! This vast region preserves many of Hawaii’s Northwestern Islands and over 7,000 marine species, several of which are only found in this region.
It is also home to many rare and endangered species such as the green sea turtle and the Hawaiian monk seal.
First established in 2006 by President Bush, it was quadrupled in size by President Obama in 2016 to now comprise 582,578 sq miles, more than twice the size of Texas. About 70% of our Earth's surface is Ocean. As of August 2019, only roughly 4.8% of it is currently protected, with just 2.2% strongly protected from human development as marine reserves.
Photo: Nicky Applewhite stands lookout as members of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument team prepare to enter a dive site. Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.
Meeting the UN's Goals
Goal 14: Life Under Water | Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
This is the fifth in a series of Stories of Hope for the Easter Season prepared by the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation committee of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield (JPIC). Every story demonstrates a success in meeting one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides a glimpse into the world that is possible.
Watch for a new story each week throughout the Easter Season. Read all the stories as they appear here.