Group calls on President Obama to dramatically expand NW Islands Marine Monument

A group of roughly 20 Native Hawaiians, local fishermen, scientists and conservationists rallied Thursday morning at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, armed with a 43,000-signature (Pew) petition urging President Barack Obama to expand federal protections around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.President George W. Bush established Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2006 as, at the time, the largest fully protected marine reserve on the planet. Its protections, which include prohibitions against commercial fishing, extend 50 miles outside the island chain. The group wants Obama to expand the monument to the maximum limit that federal jurisdiction allows — 200 miles out, with certain exceptions. That would make it nine times its current size of 139,797 square miles, and bigger than all the country’s national parks combined. Read the rest here 11:04

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