Tag Archives: Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Papahanaumokuakea Review Spurs Tension With Conservation Groups, Fisheries

President Donald Trump’s targeting of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the northwest Hawaiian Islands for national review has revived a lopsided debate between Native Hawaiians, senators, scientists and conservation groups in favor of the monument’s designation, and an activist fishery council mainly concerned with “maximizing longline yields.” The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council vocally opposed the monument’s expansion in 2016 during a public comment process, communicating that to the White House under the leadership of Executive Director Kitty Simonds. click here to read the story 22:28

Scientists to Advise on Marine Monument Fishing Regulations, American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area, Kona Crabs, ACL’s

Renowned scientists from throughout the Pacific will convene in Honolulu June 13 to 15 to provide recommendations on managing fisheries in Hawai‘i, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the US Pacific Remote Islands Areas.  The meeting of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) is open to the public and runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400. Major agenda items include the following: Click here to read the press release 17:18

Trump policies could mean big boon for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen and the enviro’s are upset!

The debate over fishing regulations at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is heating up again. The council that helps outline rules for fishing in the federally protected area says it wants to work with the Trump Administration to ease restrictions there, making it easy for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen to work in waters around the monument. Environmental groups are demanding protections remain in place. Some are even calling for an investigation.  The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council – known as Wespac – is meeting at the Ala Moana Hotel through Thursday. At the same venue as the Wespac meeting, a coalition of environmentalists and conservationist came together on Tuesday to challenge the council’s position. Watch the video, read the story here 08:46

Fishery Council Sends Letters to Obama on Impacts of Marine National Monuments

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is hopeful that when President Obama arrives in Honolulu tomorrow, he will acknowledge the $100 million commercial fishing industry in Hawai‘i and the impacts on that fishery by his expansions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (MNM) in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and the Pacific Remote Islands MNM, which includes nearby Johnston Atoll. The value of the Hawaii longline fishery is excess of $300 million when factoring in retail markets and support industries and their employees. “The push for the monuments was driven not by popular demand but by a Washington, DC-based environmental organization, the Pew Environment Group, which has had the ear of successive presidents,” explains Council Chair Edwin Ebisui Jr. Now there is talk about overlaying the monument status with a National Marine Sanctuary designation.” Read the WPFMC press release here 09:41

Will Trump Be Able To Undo Papahanaumokuakea, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments?

barry-obamaIn the months leading up to the Nov. 8 election, President Barack Obama signed a series of proclamations to dramatically increase the amount of land and water that is federally protected from commercial fishing, mining, drilling and development. On Aug. 24, he established a nearly 90,000-acre national monument in the Katahdin Woods of Maine. Two days later, Obama expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by 283 million acres, making it the world’s largest protected area at the time. And on Sept. 15, he created the first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting more than 3 million acres of marine ecosystems, seamounts and underwater canyons southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It’s mostly speculation at this point as to what Trump will do but groups on both sides of the issue are keeping a watchful eye on things. Advocates for commercial fishing interests on the East Coast have started nudging policymakers to consider what changes the next administration could make. But West Coast and Hawaii industry groups are still gathering information and developing plans. Read the rest here 08:47

Lawmaker: Trump Can Undo Obama’s National Monument Decrees

Rob BishopA top House Republican urged President-elect Donald Trump to rescind the Obama administration’s decisions to put millions of acres of land and ocean under stricter federal control by turning them into National Monuments. Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop wants Trump to cut back on the amount of land locked up through national monument designations. President Barack Obama has used the Antiquities Act to designate 265 million acres of public land as monuments while in office. “It’s never been done before and that’s why people are saying, ‘you can’t do it.’ Of course you can do it. It’s always been implied,” Bishop said. Read the rest here 13:58

Fishermen hope Trump will end Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument

donald-trumpNew England fishermen who opposed President Barack Obama’s creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument are now hopeful President-elect Donald Trump will abolish it, shrink it or allow some fishing inside it. Environmentalists view the monument as a way to sustain important species, as well as research and reduce the toll of climate change. “We take the monument very seriously and any threats to it are threats, I think, against the national interest,” said Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation. “We would take appropriate action if and when anything happened, including making a compelling scientific case to the president for the monument.” It’s unclear whether Trump could unilaterally undo a marine monument designation. It hasn’t been done before. There’s precedent, however, to modify a monument. Obama quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, also in August, to create the world’s largest oceanic preserve at nearly 600,000 square miles. Read the story here 15:45

What Hunters and Anglers Should Know Before They Vote

barack-obama-hillary-clintonAmericans who enjoy fishing, hunting, and other wilderness sports should be aware of a number of important issues before stepping into the voting booth in November. Despite objections from many prominent Hawaiians and a federal regional fishing council, President Barack Obama recently quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM), first created by President George W. Bush in 2006. Obama used his executive authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to extend the marine reserve’s boundaries, banning fishing and mining in the 200-mile exclusive economic zone surrounding the reserve, which covers much of the northwestern islands of Hawaii and their surrounding waters. Obama’s actions were motivated by a desire to attain as much authority as possible for the federal government and to enhance the power and influence of his radical environmental constituency before leaving office. One of the candidates in the 2016 race, Hillary Clinton, has promised to double down on Obama’s environmental policies. Americans concerned about property rights, hunting, fishing, and states’ rights should make their voices heard about these failed policies. Read the opinion piece here 07:59

Obama brings fresh attention to an expanded marine sanctuary (and the fishermen it hurts)

obama-visits-midway-atoll-brings-fresh-attention-to-climate-change-youtube-ap-screencap_850877Yesterday, while visiting Hawaii’s Midway Atoll, President Obama officially made the size of a marine monument twice the size of Texas while highlighting his Climate Change commitment. The monument’s new size has angered local fishermen and Native Hawaiians. The monument, created by President George W. Bush in 2006, puts more land and waters off limits to local fishermen and recreation, and Obama’s critics are calling his actions heavy-handed. The monument is now the largest protected marine Environment in the world or roughly 3.5 times the size of California. A native of Hawaii, Obama used his executive power to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making large swaths of fertile fishing grounds off-limits to fishermen. That means they now have to travel at least four times further out to sea to catch fish like tuna, a costly adventure that actually emits more greenhouse gas emissions because of the increased travel time. Hawaiians not only consume three times more fish than landlocked Americans but fishing is a major source of local commerce. Read the rest here 15:03

Papahanaumokuakea Expansion Is Counterproductive for Hawaii’s Sustainable Fisheries – Shane Yoshimoto

Hawaii is the most secluded island chain in the world. The ocean and the resources that come out of it are invaluable to the state. Eating and catching fish is a way of life and deeply rooted into the culture. Hawaii consumes nearly three times more seafood annually compared to the rest of the mainland. The last thing we want to do is completely wipe out our oceans and deny future generations the ability to cherish locally caught, fresh fish.,, While the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument may have sounded like a good idea, it is not the right answer for the state of Hawaii, its fishery, and the rest of the United States. The monument expansion proposal lacked transparency and the claims made to justify its protection are not backed by science. Read the article here 09:29

Hawaii Commercial Fishermen, Seafood Consumers Hit Again as President, Pew’s Ocean Legacy Closes Additional 442,778 Square Miles of Fishing Grounds in the U.S. Pacific Islands

“We do not believe the expansion is based on  the best available scientific information,” said Kitty Simonds, Council executive director. “It serves a political legacy rather than any conservation benefits to pelagic species such as tunas, billfish, sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. The campaign to expand the monument was organized by a multibillion dollar, agenda-driven environmental organization that has preyed upon the public’s lack of understanding of ocean resource management issues and utilized influential native Hawaiians and several high-level politicians to lead this initiative. Our government has chosen to follow the Pew’s Ocean Legacy.” Read the press release here 21:34

Nils Stolpe: Marine Monuments – Don’t let your piece of the ocean be next!

No-Fishing-e1449493453695In an effort coordinated by the National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC), thirty four domestic fishing industry trade groups have signed on to a letter to President Obama opposing a strong push by environmental groups and the billion dollar foundations that support them to create marine sanctuaries on both coasts during his last days in office. I don’t need to tell you how much industry effort has been expended over the last several decades to make fishery management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act an effective and transparent science-based process. Anyone with an interest in our domestic fisheries, whether on the water, in a shore-based fishing-dependent business or in any way associated with fishing should be committed to improving this process, and President Obama is being urged to circumvent it to bolster his “environmental legacy.” Yesterday the White House announced that the President will be expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, which was originally created by President Bush in 2006. This will be a no-fishing zone of over half a million square miles. Needless to say, it’s a big hit with the enviros, but it was done without any public process.

The letter, with a list of the fishing organizations that are on board so far, is at a web portal set up by the NCFC > Click Here <. Even if you are a member of one of those organizations, please take the few minutes required to personally sign. If you are in a fishing organization that hasn’t, please encourage the leadership to do so. And please encourage as many other folks as possible. The time for top-down governmental dictates was over years ago. We have a system that is starting to work both for the fishermen and the fish and we can’t let it be short circuited. There’s too much at risk.

Anti Fishing Obama Expands Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

No-Fishing-e1449493453695Obama on Friday will expand a marine national monument off the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to make it the world’s largest marine protected area, encompassing nearly 600,000 square miles and thousands of species of sea life, including endangered sea turtles, whales and black coral beds. The action will make it illegal to conduct any commercial fishing and any type of mineral extraction in the expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the original 140,000 square miles of which was first protected by President George W. Bush in 2006 and designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2010. Obama will travel to Hawaii next week to commemorate the new monument with a trip to Midway Atoll, located within the newly protected area, to highlight “how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever,” the White House said. Read the rest here 03:54

Hawaii: War Of Words Escalates As Monument Decision Nears

Pew U FlounderSupporters of the fourfold expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have fired back against an advertisement claiming the proposal would result in people being unable to eat fresh local fish. A coalition called Expand Papahanaumokuakea has been circulating ads supporting the expansion of the monument, which currently covers 139,800 square miles around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The 30-second spot, primarily funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, features several people explaining why the expansion would be positive, citing the preservation of Native Hawaiian culture, fish stocks and new species yet to be discovered. Read the rest here 16:41

Expanding Antiquities Act Monument Would Set A Dangerous Precedent

hawaii-longline-vessel-640x359The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently held a public meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Proponents of the expansion stand behind the request of and a group of seven Native Hawaiians for President Barack Obama to consider invoking the Antiquities Act of 1906 to expand the existing 50 mile monument boundary four-fold. The new monument would include nearly all of the Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and a whopping 60 percent of the greater Hawaiian Islands EEZ. In the case of Schatz’s proposal for monument expansion the concept of due process has been forsaken completely. The idea that sound science must be a basis for decision making has been abandoned in the face of a perceived urgency. Instead, the proposal has served to undermine the very structures we have in place to preserve a fair and equitable means of addressing public concerns about a shared resource (read up on Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.) Read the op-ed here 10:23

WPFMC asks for transparent analysis of proposed marine monument expansion

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Wednesday agreed to a resolution that asks the U.S. government to address a suite of concerns before acting on the proposed expansion on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument or MNM in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Council members Suzanne Case, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources chair, and Julie Leialoha, Conservation Council for Hawaii president, voted against the proposal. National Marine Fisheries Service or NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator Michael Tosatto abstained. The resolution requests a “public, transparent, deliberative, documented and science-based process” to address the proposed expansion, which could prohibit fishing in two-thirds of the U.S. exclusive economic zone, i.e., waters out to 200 miles from shore, around Hawaii. The resolution is being sent to President Obama, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the secretaries of Commerce, the Interior and State. Read the rest here 16:47

Enviro’s Complain Top Federal Fisheries Official Shouldn’t Be Meddling In Marine Monument Debate

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAn environmental group has filed a complaint with federal officials over Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty Simonds’ role in orchestrating opposition to the proposed expansion of the marine monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Marjorie Ziegler, executive director of the Conservation Council for Hawaii, says Simonds is providing “the advocacy and the lobbying campaign” against the proposal to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “It’s totally inappropriate for Kitty Simonds in her official capacity as executive director of Wespac – a taxpayer, federally funded entity – to play such a prominent role in an aggressive lobbying effort to generate public and political opposition to the proposed expansion,” Ziegler said Friday in an interview. The Conservation Council of Hawaii’s complaint was sent Friday to David Smith, deputy inspector general in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General, and Lois Schiffer, general counsel for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Read the story here 14:40

Papahanaumokuakea: Hawaii Fishermen get no response from Obama, Schatz

schatz d pewU.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, has yet to respond to a June 20th request to meet with the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on his proposal to expand the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument fourfold. Also unanswered are letters sent by the council to President Obama on April 8 and July 14, 2016, with concerns about the impact to Hawaii’s fisheries of the proposals by Schatz and by seven Native Hawaiians in January 2016 that the president expand the monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. Council Chair Edwin Ebisui Jr., Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds and Vice Chairs McGrew Rice, William Sword, John Gourley and Michael Duenas reminded the Senator that the Council has federal jurisdiction over the waters within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands beyond the current monument boundaries under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. “We are dismayed that you did not consult with the prior to distribution of your letters, which have proliferated unsubstantiated statements through the media,” the council wrote to Schaltz. Read the rest here 10:13

Former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, Chefs Protest Marine Monument Expansion

Set against a backdrop of commercial fishing boats at Pier 38 in Honolulu, former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi told a crowd of roughly 200 people Friday that they need to work together to stop the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. “We should not let the federal government come in and tell us what to do with our ocean,” the 90-year-old Ariyoshi said, receiving a round of applause. It was the biggest rally to date against expanding the monument around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Some waved signs saying “Fishing Means Food” and “MVP Most Valuable Poke.” Top chefs like Nico Chaize and George Mavrothalassitis were on hand, along with longline fishermen who object to a further encroachment on their fishing grounds. Read the rest here 18:33

Hawaii fishing, restaurant industries hold rally to protest expansion of fishing ban

sushibloomberg_750xx1200-676-0-69Fishing Means Food, a coalition representing Hawaii’s fishing industry, along with Hawaii chefs, restaurant owners and public figures such as former Gov. George Ariyoshi and Peter Apo, a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, is holding a rally on Friday to protest a proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and its fishing ban. The rally will be held at 11 a.m. at the Honolulu Fish Auction at Pier 38. The coalition says the expanded fishing ban will push Hawaii’s 140 active commercial fishing boats into international waters where they’ll be forced to compete with less regulated foreign fishing vessels. The expanded ban could reduce the supply of fresh, locally caught fish, impacting such businesses as restaurants, poke shops and wholesalers. Link 08:07

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council takes issue with Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz

schatz d pewHawaii Senator Brian Schatz has received a strongly worded letter from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council concerning his support of the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian islands. A local fishermen who has been following the debate on the proposed expansion says we should be  concerned with what’s happening with Hawaii’s fishery because we are next. He says the Hawaii Monument expansion, just like the designation of the  Remote Pacific Islands Monument and expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa are examples of the influence of funding by special interest groups such as the Pew Foundation. Read the rest here 13:35

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands monument expansion should be opposed – Lyn McNutt

ObamaIf you eliminate the U.S. (Hawaiian) fishery, then the area will be completely open to Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fisheries. U.S. fishers are regulated in equipment, species interactions (takes), amount of fish caught and they have VMS onboard as well as observers. The White House supposedly wants to regulate IUU fishing, but this action opens the door for IUU in the area. Who will stop IUU and how will they enforce rules? The state of Hawaii (DLNR) is very quick to claim how they are trying to create a “community” managed system of fisheries ecosystem management with consultation and community involvement in the planning, implementation and operation of community-based fishing. This top-down edict is a complete 180 from “community.” The Antiquities Act does not require any public input. A small group is forcing their view on the people of Hawaii Nei without any discussion of the public (local — not Mainland) perception on the use of the area. This is not pono. Read the op-ed here 10:31

Who’s Behind A Stealth Ad Against The Marine Monument Expansion?

Screen-Shot-2016-07-07-at-7.53.37-PM-400x296The author seems to believe a stealth video created by an unknown source, most likely a very tiny group of individuals and citizens with a very meager budget, is outrageous, and destructive to a cause created by a billion dollar ENGO PEW, that has unlimited resources, paid soldiers, and a mega network of PEW spawned ENGO’s like Oceana, EDF! Burgeoning grass-root groups are ramping up their campaigns for and against the proposed expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as President Obama weighs whether he should single-handedly create the world’s biggest marine reserve around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Civil Beat requested lists from both groups — Expand Papahanaumokuakea and Fishing Means Food — to better assess who actually backs the campaigns. Read the rest here 09:54

Can 1,500 Scientists All Be Wrong urging Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument?

Director Kewalo Marine Lab Robert Richmond PhD2More than 1,500 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging President Obama to use his executive authority to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. “There is a growing consensus among marine scientists that 30% of the oceans be set aside for adequate protection against human exploitation, yet only two percent presently benefits from full protection,” the letter said. The group said expanding the monument from the current 50-mile boundary to the full 200-mile allowable limit as proposed would be a “substantial step in the right direction, creating the largest reserve in the world.” Read the scientists’ letter to the president, along with a list of everyone who signed it. Read the rest here 09:00

Expanding monument will do more harm than good – Shane Yoshimoto, Honolulu

fisherman-obamaI am writing regarding the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and to ban commercial fishing there. I work in Hawaii’s fishing industry, but besides it being my livelihood it’s my love and passion. Fish isn’t just a source of food to me or the people of Hawaii; it’s a huge part of the culture. Hawaii’s fishing industry and economy will be impacted if this monument is expanded. I am strongly opposed to the expansion of this monument. We are already limited on locally sourced foods and this would take a significant amount of fresh fish away from Hawaii. Read the rest here 14:04

Peter Apo: Obama Should Say No To Expanded Marine Monument

President Obama is considering a request to more than quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to 580,000 square miles – an area as large as the states of Texas, California and Montana. If Obama takes this step, the federal government essentially would assert control over hundreds of thousands of miles of ocean around Hawaii with no public discussion. According to the Antiquities Act of 1906, the trigger to designate an area as a national monument is simply the president’s signature. No discussion required — not by Congress, not by state government and not by citizens who rely on the targeted geo-cultural area. Read the story here 16:11

Obama’s moving closer to creating the world’s largest marine reserve — in Hawaii

fisherman-obamaObama may have chosen to locate his library in his adopted home state of Illinois, but a new move by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) suggests he may leave his biggest environmental footprint in his home state of Hawaii. Schatz sent a letter Thursday to the president asking him to consider expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which President George W. Bush created a decade ago, to more than four times its current size of 139,800 square miles. The senator, who has emerged as a key broker between Hawaiian fishing and other local interests and the federal government, has included a carve-out in his proposal so recreational and subsistence fishing operators from Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau can continue to use certain areas that are outside the monument’s current boundaries.  An active fishing spot around the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather buoy 51101 would remain open, though all the areas within the expanded monument would be closed to fishing or other forms of exploitation such as deep-sea mining. Read the rest here 08:05

Hawaii Lawmakers To Obama: Don’t Grow Marine Monument

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAmid the flurry of final votes on hundreds of bills last week, Hawaii lawmakers privately weighed whether to sign a letter to President Obama that Rep. James Tokioka was circulating during the last few days of the legislative session. The letter called on the president not to consider expanding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, stating that “there is no scientific justification or conservation benefit in doing so.” In all, 30 House lawmakers, including Speaker Joe Souki, signed the May 3 letter. Just days earlier, Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi sent Obama a nearly identical one. This opposition, which lawmakers kept out of public view, has been overshadowed by a strong public push to expand the monument, officially designated by President George W. Bush as Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2007. Read the rest here 08:27

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

Hawaiian leaders urge President Barack Obama to expand marine conservation area

fisherman-obamaA group of Native Hawaiian leaders have urged President Barack Obama to expand what’s already one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. But the president of the Hawaii Longline Association said Friday the lobbying effort is using Hawaiian culture as an excuse to close off more waters to fishermen. Papahanaumokuakea (pah-pah-HAH-now-moh-cuh-ah-cay-ah) Marine National Monument is a 140,000-square-mile area of the Pacific where remote islands, atolls, islets and coral reefs serve as habitat for some of the world’s most endangered species. The region is also a sacred place in the history, culture and cosmology of Native Hawaiians. Read the rest here 09:47