Obama to create world's largest ocean preserve

Published On: Jun 17 2014 11:11:56 AM HST
Updated On: Jun 17 2014 12:46:26 PM HST

USFWS/James Maragos

WASHINGTON -

President Barack Obama has announced plans to create the largest ocean preserve in the world by banning drilling, fishing and other activities in a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean.

Using presidential authority that doesn't require new action from Congress, Obama proposed to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which President George W. Bush designated to protect unique species and rare geological formations.

The waters are all considered U.S. territory because they surround an array of remote, mostly uninhabited islands that the U.S. controls between Hawaii and American Samoa.

Obama hasn't settled on the final boundaries for the preserve.  The White House said Obama planned to solicit input from fishermen, scientists, politicians, experts in conservation and others before the new protections take effect.

Explore the restricted waters of Papahanaumokuakea!

Click here to see photos from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

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