U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World, 3X Larger Than California
White House announces expansion of national monument around remote Pacific islands.
NEW YORK—The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will create the largest marine reserve in the world by expanding an existing monument around U.S.-controlled islands and atolls in the central Pacific.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will now be nearly 490,000 square miles, about three times the size of California and six times larger than its previous size. The newly expanded monument is also larger than the sum total of all U.S. national parks on land, which add up to a combined 132,000 square miles. Commercial fishing, dumping, and mining will be prohibited in the reserve, but recreational fishing will be allowed with permits, and boaters may visit the area.
The protected area that Secretary of State John Kerry