Biden to expand Pacific marine sanctuary with his latest preservation push
The White House plans to designate 777,000 square miles of the Pacific as marine sanctuary.
On Tuesday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a series of actions that seek to promote the preservation of several national land and water territories.
In addition to establishing two new U.S. national monuments on the continent, Biden said he has directed the secretary of commerce to consider reclassifying the water surrounding Pacific remote islands as a National Marine Sanctuary.
The sanctuary would encompass several islands in the central Pacific southwest of Hawaiʻi — including Wake Atoll, Johnston Atoll and Palmyra Atoll.
About 500,000 square miles around these islands are currently protected as part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
If expanded, its total conservation area would be larger than the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which was established in 2006 by former President George W. Bush and widened in 2016 by former President Barack Obama.
Biden has set a goal of conserving at least 30% of ocean waters under U.S. jurisdiction by 2030.
Further strategies for conservation are outlined in the country’s first Ocean Climate Action Plan, which was released this month.