We’re writing to you today with good news for the ocean.
Last week, the Obama Administration announced two public meetings to provide comment on the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This is in response to a massive, statewide movement by thousands of supporters to increase the protections of this special place. Senator Brian Schatz also backed this effort by providing a proposal for expansion.
Join us in person as we stand together for our ocean at these historic meetings. (We will have pick up and car pool locations on both islands to make transportation easy—and fun. RSVP for info.)
Monday, August 1, 5 – 8pm
Filipino Community Center
94-428 Mokuola St #302,
Waipahu, HI 96797
Tuesday, August 2, 4 – 7pm
Kauai Community College
Performing Arts Center
3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy
Lihue, HI 96766
Photo: Polynesian Voyaging Society
Why should you care?
For starters, a larger monument will help protect this ecosystem from the threats of climate change, overfishing, seabed mining, and pollution.
By expanding the current boundaries from 50 nautical miles, out to the full 200 miles (with exception for the waters surrounding Kauai and Niihau), we have an opportunity to protect:
The world’s oldest living animal, a black coral, at more than 4,000 years old
- The largest repository of seabirds in the world, especially since global populations have declined by 70% since 1950
- Nearly 110 seamounts (some as tall as 14,000-foot Mauna Kea) which are high in biodiversity and undocumented species
- The habitat of more than 7,000 species, including sharks, a keystone species in decline, whose roaming areas are not fully protected
Photo: Koa Matsuoka
The expansion also presents an opportunity to rightfully elevate the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as fourth co-trustee on the monument management board.
Unfortunately, industrial-scale fishing interests are trying to stop our effort to protect this special place, even though the industry’s own fishing records show that it’s not one of their prime fishing sites.
Be with us during this once-in-a-lifetime moment to create the world’s largest marine reserve.
Let us know you will join us by clicking here.