Please help support the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument as part of the National Marine Sanctuary System.
Our National Marine Sanctuary System – encompassing 14 National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments – brings ecological, heritage, cultural, recreation, education and economic benefits to communities. The science, research and conservation work conducted at these sites under NMSS auspices advance learning and inform the world. The System model emphasizes community participation and partnerships in the sites’ management, preservation and outreach.
Papahānaumokuākea is home to critical habitats and marine life including monk seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, seabirds, sharks, billfish and tuna. Some of these species are found nowhere else on the planet; and, the oldest living animals on Earth, black corals (Leiopathes sp.) as old as 4000 years, are living in the deep sea habitat in the proposed expansion area. These environments are protected through monitoring and conservation activities, while serving as the destination for cutting-edge research and exploration. With an expansion as proposed, the potential is endless.
This special place also has a critical role in Hawaiian identity and culture. With the highest density of sacred sites in the Hawaiian Archipelago, Papahānaumokuākea has spiritual significance in the story of creation of the Hawaiian peoples and the islands themselves. It serves as a reminder of humans’ connections to the environment and our shared responsibility to take care of our planet.
I urge you to expand Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to provide the greatest possible benefits to marine life, protect heritage and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.