This expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 83,000 square miles to 490,000 square miles. To protect the whales, seabirds, sea turtles, fishes and corals in this region of the central and western Pacific Ocean, commercial fishing and mineral extraction will now be prohibited in this national monument.
The expanded monument is now the largest protected area on the planet (land or sea). It encompasses the seven islands and reefs of Wake, Johnston, Baker, Howland, Kingman, Jarvis and Palmyra, as well as the ocean around them.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument falls within the Central Pacific Ocean, ranging from Wake Atoll in the northwest to Jarvis Island in the southeast. The seven atolls and islands included within the monument are farther from human population centers than any other U.S. area. They represent one of the last frontiers and havens for wildlife in the world, and comprise the most widespread collection of coral reef, seabird, and shorebird protected areas on the planet under a single nation’s jurisdiction.