The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 15, 2006

Fact Sheet: The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument: A Commitment to Good Stewardship of Our Natural Resources

     Fact sheet President Bush Establishes Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument
     Fact sheet In Focus: Environment

Today, President Bush Signed A Proclamation That Will Create The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. This national monument will enable nearly 140,000 square miles of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to receive our Nation's highest form of marine environmental protection. It honors our commitment to be good stewards of America's natural resources, shows what cooperative conservation can accomplish, and creates a new opportunity for ocean education and research for decades to come. The national monument will:

This Marine National Monument Is The Largest Single Area Dedicated To Conservation In The History Of Our Country And The Largest Protected Marine Area In The World. It is more than 100 times larger than Yosemite National Park, larger than 46 of our 50 states, and more than seven times larger than all our National Marine Sanctuaries combined.

The New Monument Fulfills A Legacy Of Conservation First Begun By President Theodore Roosevelt. In 2004, the Administration released an Ocean Action Plan to promote an ethic of responsible use and stewardship of our oceans and coastal resources. By establishing this new national monument, we are implementing an important part of our plan.

1. The New National Monument Will Honor Our Commitment To Be Good Stewards Of America's Natural Resources

Our Duty Is To Use The Land And Seas Wisely. Americans are united in the belief that we must preserve our natural heritage and safeguard the environment around us for future generations. This belief is affirmed in our laws, and today this commitment was reaffirmed once again.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Are A Beautiful And Special Place. The ten islands and atolls stretch over nearly 1,400 miles - the distance from Chicago to Miami.

This National Monument Will Have Strong Regulations And New Tools To Aid Enforcement In The Marine Area. The monument will preserve access for native Hawaiian cultural activities. Within the boundaries of the monument, we will prohibit unauthorized passage of ships, unauthorized recreational or commercial activity, and any extraction of coral, wildlife, minerals, and other resources, or dumping of waste.

2. The New National Monument Shows What Cooperative Conservation Can Accomplish

By Working Together, Government And Volunteers Are Making Our Oceans Safer For Marine Life - And Preserving Our Seas And Coastlines For Future Generations. To fight the destructive effects of abandoned nets and other debris, the President's Ocean Action Plan directed the Coast Guard, EPA, NOAA, the State Department, and the Interior Department to coordinate their efforts to improve how the Federal government tracks, prevents, and cleans up marine waste.

The Administration Is Working To End Over-Fishing.

The National Monument Will Have A Special-Access Area Around Midway Island, So More Americans Can Visit And Honor The Memory Of Those Who Gave Their Lives So Our Nation Might Live In Freedom. Near the northern edge of the Northwestern Hawaiian islands lies Midway Island, the site of one of the most decisive battles of World War II. On this atoll, there is a memorial to the sacrifice and valor of those who fought in the Pacific theatre during World War II.

3. The New National Monument Creates A New Opportunity For Ocean Education And Research For Decades To Come

One Of The Key Priorities Of The President's Ocean Action Plan Is Promoting Ocean Research And Education. Ninety-five percent of our planet's oceans have yet to be explored. We are just beginning to appreciate what the seas have to offer humanity. The waters of this new national monument will be a living laboratory that offers new opportunities to discover new life, helps us better manage our ocean ecosystems, and allows us to pursue advances in science.

The Designation Of The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument Will Protect Our Natural Wealth For The Generations That Follow And Lay The Foundation For Even Greater Discoveries And Conservation To Come.

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