One Ocean, One Island Earth: Pacific Marine Monument Now the Largest in the World

On September 25, 2014, the United States created the largest protected area in the world by expanding the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument.

The marine preserve will protect deep-sea coral reefs that are vulnerable to the changes in our climate. Signed by President Obama, the proclamation protects our “highly pristine deep sea” in perpetuity from commercial fishing and deep-water mining.

The crew of our Worldwide Voyage is circling the globe to find and share stories of hope that can bring us together to care for the one ocean and the one island earth that we share. We join our broader community of ocean advocates and champions around the world to celebrate this story of hope. We also are inspired by the local efforts we are seeing throughout the Pacific to expand the traditional practices that have honored and protected our oceans for millennia. Celebrating and returning to these practices that emphasize balance and interdependence can create a huge impact when all the efforts are added together.

Diving the deep blue in American Sāmoa, a crewmember hovers over a beautiful and healthy Pacific coral reef.

Diving the deep blue in American Sāmoa, a crewmember hovers over a beautiful and healthy Pacific coral reef.

The new marine monument announcement coincides with the first time our voyagers are diving to officially bring the WWV underwater and show what a protected, healthy tropical reef can look like. Our crew are currently in American Sāmoa, just south of the newly expanded marine monument. This area has been protected federally by NOAA since 1986.

For those of you who have not yet signed on to our One Ocean, One Island Earth movement, please join us here. We look forward to learning about and sharing stories of hope, and working together at key moments. For example, this January, countries will decide whether to negotiate a new treaty that would allow the creation of fully protected areas in the international waters that make up two thirds of the world’s ocean. We look forward to our ongoing conversation. Until then, mahalo nui for voyaging with us for a sustainable future.

Click here for Nainoa Thompson’s fellow Ocean Elder, Sir Richard Branson, on the new ocean preserve.

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