The Pacific Is About to Get a Massive New Ocean Reserve
The nation of Palau in the western Pacific just protected 80 percent of their ocean.
A tiny island country in the western Pacific Ocean that's smaller than New York City has approved the creation of an enormous marine reserve that's bigger than the U.S. state of California.
The nation of Palau is moving forward with creating a reserve that's about 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers) in size. This would make it one of the five largest fully protected marine areas in the world. (Read about Chile's newest marine reserve.)
On Thursday Palau's Congress signed off on keeping 80 percent of its territorial waters from any extractive activities, including fishing and mining. The remaining 20 percent will remain open to fishing by locals and a limited number of small commercial operations.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr. plans to