Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama will expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument—originally designated by President George W. Bush in 2006—by an additional 442,781 square miles, bringing the entire protected area to 582,578 square miles. The expansion provides protection for more than 7,000 marine species. Center for American Progress Director of Ocean Policy Michael Conathan issued the following statement after the announcement:
Today’s proclamation is a model for bold conservation and marks the centennial of America’s National Park Service by protecting native Hawaiian culture, American history, and one of the planet’s most delicate ecosystems so threatened by global climate change and ocean acidification. President Obama, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Gov. David Ige (D-HI), and all who made this day possible deserve our gratitude for building on the legacies of Theodore Roosevelt and George W. Bush, taking their lead with collaborative and decisive nonpartisan action. They will be thanked by future generations of Americans, who now have the benefit of this spectacular and unsullied underwater paradise in perpetuity.
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