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Obama protects huge area of Pacific Ocean

By Tim Sandle     Sep 27, 2014 in World
U.S. President Barack Obama has exercised his authority to expand an existing marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean, making it the largest in the world.
There is a zone in the Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). This is an area that encompasses several U.S.-controlled coral atolls west of Hawaii and it is a place of special conservation. The virgin swath of sea, islands, and sea mounts is home to deep-sea coral, several species of endangered sea turtle, manta rays, and other imperiled species. Several of these species have been at risk from over-fishing or from human-generated pollution.
President Barack Obama has declared that he will expand the reserve from its current area of 83,000 square miles to a much larger 490,000 square miles (three times the size of California). This makes the zone the largest marine protected area on Earth.
This means that within this area, commercial fishing, dumping, and mining will be prohibited. However, recreational fishing and boating will continue to be allowed with the proper permits.
Unsure that he would get the measure through Congress, Obama by-passed the body completely. This was by using the Antiquities Act of 1906, which was designed to give presidents the authority to issue executive orders to protect public land.
Commenting on the decision, Elliott Norse, founder and chief scientist of the Seattle-based Marine Conservation Institute, told National Geographic: “What has happened is extraordinary. It is history making. There is a lot of reason we should be celebrating right now."
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