Papahanaumokuakea…say that 3 times fast.
On this gorgeous Friday leading into African Penguin Awareness Weekend, we’re excited to share that last Friday, August 26, 2016, President Barack Obama more than quadrupled the size of Papahanaumokuakea, the Hawaiian marine monument, making it the largest ecologically protected area on Earth. Hawaii is now home to an ocean reserve TWICE the size of Texas!
In 2006, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument was officially established by President George W. Bush. His Presidential Proclamation protected 1,400 miles of the Pacific Northwestern region of the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks to his proclamation, many conservation efforts to produce the largest protected marine area of its kind at the time were brought together.
President Obama added to 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. It is home to Laysan albatrosses and the remaining endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Did we mention it’s absolutely stunning and brimming with amazing wildlife??
This region of Hawaii is a glimpse into what the Earth was like before the impact of human activity as the majority of the newly protected region is untouched by human influence. The preservation of the area, in its natural state, is a milestone and we’re thrilled to be able to share it with you as we all work together to conserve our planet for many generations to come.
Learn more about this incredible act of conservation here!