In the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, President Barack Obama has created the largest protected area in the world. At 582,000 square miles (1,507,373 square kilometers), the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument has now quadrupled in size, making it larger than all U.S. national parks combined.
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While 15 percent of the Earth's land is protected, only 2 percent of the oceans are. The expansion of Papahānaumokuākea will help preserve more than 7,000 marine species, including the threatened sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
Read more: "Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas"
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jed Winer
ANIMATED MAP: Riley D. Champine
VIDEOGRAPHY: Johnny Friday, Leigh Torres, NOAA, National Geographic Creative, Getty Images
SELECT FOOTAGE: National Geographic Society, Waitt Grants Program
New Protected Ocean Area Is Bigger Than All U.S. National Parks Combined | National Geographic
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