Papahanaumokuakea

On June 15, 2006, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands were designated as a Marine National Monument. Since this time Laura Bush came to Hawaii to dedicate the Marine Sanctuary with its Hawaiian name "Papahanaumokuakea" 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. The 4 larger states are Alaska 656,425 sq miles, Texas 268,601 sq miles, California 163,707 sq miles and Montana 147,046 sq miles. It is more than seven times larger than all our National Marine Sanctuaries combined. The ten main islands and atolls stretch over nearly 1,400 miles the distance from Chicago to Miami. The total land and sea designated as the Marine Sanctuary total 139,000 square miles. This is larger than the Great Barrier Reef whichis 133,000 square miles.