Weeks after declaring the 450,000 acre Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks Monument, Obama made another bold announcement at the Our Oceans conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Obama pledged to expand protections for up to 656,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. This is over one-fifth the size of the contiguous United States and it would more than double the number of square miles currently protected in the Pacific Ocean.
Obama announced two specific executive actions to preserve and protect our oceans. First, he is looking at new protections for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean. Second, he is directing Federal agencies to put together a plan to combat black market fishing, which accounts for 20% of the wild marine fish caught each year.
“We’ve already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations. So let’s redouble our efforts. Let’s make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world.”