Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll – Photo Credit: USFWS

In June, I told you about President Obama’s plan to possibly protect more of the ocean

Then, in July, 25,000 IFAW supporters joined their voices and sent letters urging the President to move forward with his proposal.

This week, President Obama announced that he will expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to six times its current size. 

This is a huge accomplishment, and it is worthy of celebration!

Established in 2009, PRIMNM encompasses Wake, Jarvis, Howland, and Baker Islands, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls, and Kingman Reef. These primarily uninhabited islands and atolls are located over 1,000 miles southwest of the main Hawaiian Islands, and their surrounding waters boast some of the most beautiful and pristine marine habitat in the world.

The biodiversity in PRIMNM’s waters is astounding; whales (like the newly discovered Palmyra beaked whale), dolphins, sharks, and over 100 species of coral can be seen inside PRIMNM’s boundaries along with hundreds of fish species, five species of protected sea turtles, more than 20 protected marine mammal species, and millions of seabirds.

With this new expansion, PRIMNM will now cover 490,000 square miles of protected ocean making it the world’s largest marine reserve that is closed off to fishing and development.

Research has shown that large marine reserves have an exponentially greater impact on the marine life they protect, so expanding PRIMNM’s boundaries will do wonders for this vital ecosystem.

We would like to offer our congratulations to President Obama for his courageous decision to safeguard an invaluable part of our oceans.

The political climate is tough at the moment, and this change wouldn’t have happened without IFAW supporters, and many others. So a big “thank you” to you!

IFAW couldn’t work to save animals without you.

–MC

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Article source: IFAW

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