Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument


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Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument,

c.490,000 sq mi (1,260,000 sq km), central Pacific Ocean; est. 2009. The monument comprises the waters and reefs surrounding seven islands and atolls, and in most cases the island lands are managed as wildlife refuges as well. The islands and their waters are the U.S. territories that are furthest from human population centers. Howland IslandHowland Island,
uninhabited island (.73 sq mi/1.89 sq km), central Pacific near the equator, c.1,620 mi (2610 km) SW of Honolulu. The island was discovered by American traders and was claimed by the United States in 1856, along with Jarvis Island and Baker Island.
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, Baker IslandBaker Island,
uninhabited island, 1 sq mi (2.6 sq km), central Pacific, near the equator, c.1,650 mi (2,660 km) SW of Honolulu. The arid coral island was discovered in 1832 by Capt. Michael Baker, an American, and was claimed by the United States in 1856.
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, and Jarvis IslandJarvis Island,
island, 1.7 sq mi (4.4 sq km), central Pacific, one of the Line Islands, just south of the equator and c.1,300 mi (2,090 km) S of Honolulu. Known to British and American mariners, it was claimed in 1856 by the United States along with Howland Island and Baker
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 lie along the equator. Johnston AtollJohnston Atoll,
atoll, 2.8 sq mi (7.25 sq km), central Pacific, c.700 nautical mi (1,300 km) SW of Honolulu, central Pacific, an uninc. territory of the United States. It consists of four islands and reefs. The largest island, Johnston Island, c.3,000 ft (910 m) long and c.
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 lies between the Line Islands and Hawaii. Wake Atoll (see Wake IslandWake Island,
atoll with three islets (Wake, Wilkes, and Peale), 3 sq mi (7.8 sq km), central Pacific, between Hawaii and Guam. It is a U.S. military base and scientific research center under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of the Interior and the U.S. Air Force.
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) is the northernmost atoll in the Marshall Islands geologic ridge. PalmyraPalmyra,
atoll (2 sq mi/5.2 sq km), central Pacific, one of the Line Islands, c.1,100 mi (1,770 km) SW of Honolulu. Palmyra has no permanent inhabitants. First visited by Americans in 1802, and later claimed by the Hawaiian kingdom (1862) and Great Britain (1889), it was annexed
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 Atoll and Kingman ReefKingman Reef,
uninhabited reef, less than 1 sq mi (2.6 sq km), central Pacific, one of the Line Islands, 1,075 mi (1,730 km) SW of Honolulu. It was discovered by Americans in 1798 and annexed by the United States in 1922.
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 are part of the Line Island chain.

The monument, created in 2009 by President George W. Bush, is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A 2014 expansion by President Barack Obama roughly sextupled the protected marine areas, and made the monument the world's largest marine reserve. At Howland, Baker, and Jarvis islands, Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef, the terrestrial areas, reefs, and waters out to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, while at Wake and Johnston atolls, the land areas are controlled by the U.S. Air Force. The monument contains the most widespread collection of coral reef, seabird, and migratory shorebird protected areas under a single nation's jurisdiction. Wildlife includes sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, and other tropical marine life.

References in periodicals archive ?
Last month, US President Barack Obama extended the maritime boundary of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 50 miles to the 200-mile limit, effectively merging the region's national parks into one massive protected area, in which commercial fishing is prohibited.
The expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will cover 490,000 sq mi, an area 3 times the size of California and will become the largest marine preserve in the world.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will become the largest network of oceanic protected areas in the world.
Obama hasn't settled on the final boundaries for the expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and will solicit input from fishermen, scientists and conservation experts.
Even knowing that, Enric Sala, a marine ecologist and National Geographic Fellow, was a little nervous when he first dived at Kingman Reef, the heart of a massive, newly protected area south of Hawaii now called the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
These include: the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands; the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument in the area of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands; the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in the area of American Samoa; and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
In a video presentation, President Obama announced that his Administration will immediately consider ways to expand protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean.

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