The Obama Administration earned kudos from the Pew Charitable Trusts last week for its decision to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. By extending the boundaries around three of the monument’s five marine reserves from 50 to 200 miles offshore, the U.S. president added about a million square kilometres (about 408,000 square miles) to the protected area. “This action is the latest in a global movement to create large, highly protected marine reserves to counter the dramatic declines in ocean health caused by overfishing, pollution, and development, as well as the emerging challenges associated with climate change,” Pew reports. “Highly protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding the abundance and diversity of ocean species and increasing the resilience of habitats and ecosystems to climate change.”
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