Washington, DC- Today President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to create the largest marine preserve in the world, expanding the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument to cover 490,000 square miles. The designation prevents commercial fishing, deep-sea mining, and drilling in an area three times the size of California. It will protect more than 240 underwater sea mounts, millions of migratory sea birds, and hundreds of endangered species of turtles, whales, and other marine species. Environment America’s DC office director, Anna Aurilio, issued the following statement praising the move:
“We thank President Obama for safeguarding an ocean paradise from drilling, mining, and industrial fishing. The hundreds of undersea mountains in the Pacific Remote Islands are like the Galapagos Islands for their biodiversity. As many as half the creatures that live there are found nowhere else on Earth, including a new whale species that biologists discovered in April.
“Not long ago, the President protected the jagged peaks of New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, and expanded the California Coastal National Monument to include the wetlands, trails and beaches of the Stornetta Public Lands, 100 miles north of San Francisco.
“The President is on a roll when it comes to preserving our most treasured natural areas. We hope he keeps rolling to safeguard even more of the unique landscapes and seascapes that make America beautiful.”