This Small Island Nation Makes a Big Case For Protecting Our Oceans
Two years ago, Palau created one of the largest marine reserves on the planet—and it's paying off.
It stands to reason that if you protect the ocean, ecosystems will thrive. Now, scientists have hard data to back up that logical assumption, thanks to a sweeping study of marine reserves in the island nation of Palau.
Nearly two years ago, Palau officially designated 193,000 square miles of its maritime territory as a fully protected marine reserve, where no fishing or mining can take place. The reserve became the sixth-largest of its kind in the world—while the island of Palau is smaller than New York City, its marine protected area became larger than the state of California.
In a statement made at the time, Palau's President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., said the move was essential to conserving the island's livelihood: