Eleven years ago, we celebrated the creation of America’s largest marine national monument, Papahānaumokuākea (#BigPapa).
My dream would have been to celebrate its anniversary as one of the best presidential decisions ever made to protect the ocean. Instead, American citizens are being asked their opinion on whether or not it should exist at all.
It’s incomprehensible, but right now our oceans are under threat — and protecting them is going to require a unified effort. Your voice is critical to this fight.
When President George W. Bush designated and President Obama expanded Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, they continued America’s legacy of large-scale ocean protection — one based on environmental stewardship and cultural preservation.In 2006, when President George W. Bush designated Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and in 2008, when President Obama expanded the monument, they continued America’s legacy of large-scale ocean protection, one based on environmental stewardship and cultural preservation.
This 1,200-mile stretch of reefs, islands and atolls is exceptionally rare — and one of the most extraordinary places on the planet. Teeming with life, it reminds us humans how oceans should function when healthy: able to provide food, oxygen and well-being for both people and nature.
The president has issued an unprecedented executive order mandating a review of certain monument designations, including Papahānaumokuākea. After the review, the president could use an executive order to shrink or delist any (or all) of the monuments; an action that, while likely to be challenged in court, could still have severe consequences for the conservation of the United States’ critical natural areas.
But Americans have already spoken overwhelmingly in support of strong protection of this special ocean region for over 20 years, including every public process held since 1998. Today Papahānaumokuākea enjoys near unanimous support from local to international levels.
Since then, Papahānaumokuākea has enjoyed near unanimous support from local to international levels, including designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The president has ordered a review of certain monument designations, including Papahānaumokuākea. Reducing the size of these monuments threatens to end the bipartisan legacy of protecting some of the most significant marine protected areas on the planet. The stability of all life on the planet depends on the stability of life in the ocean. Protecting our oceans starts with securing the continued protection of places like Papahānaumokuākea.
Thank you for lending your voice.
Senior Vice President, Center for Oceans
Conservation InternationalTake action to protect now!