National monument in Hawaii becomes world's largest marine protected area

August 26, 2016
Archaeologist Dr. Kelly Gleason examining a ginger jar from the whaling shipwreck site of the "Two Brothers" which ran aground at Shark Island, French Frigate shoals in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Part of the most remote island archipelago on Earth, the monument is home to more than 7,000 marine species, including coral, fish, seals, turtles, whales, and several shipwrecks, and serves as the final resting place for more than 3,000 sailors and soldiers who served during World War II. 

Today, President Obama expanded the monument by 442,781 square miles, bringing the total protected area to 582,578 square miles and making it the world's largest marine protected area. With this designation, this cultural, historical and ecologically significant marine protected area will be protected and preserved for future generations.

Read the full media release issued by the secretaries of Commerce and the Interior. Learn more about Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

More resources:

Papahānaumokuākea expands, now largest conservation area on Earth

Monuments and sanctuaries: What's the difference?

Media page: B-roll and photos

Video from NOAA's Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle