Say what you will about the U.S., when we do something, we do it supersized.
So when Obama decides to make a marine reserve, he doesn’t just put your average patch of ocean off-limits to commercial fishing, energy exploration, and other shenanigans. No. It’s a massive portion of the Pacific that more than doubles the total amount of protected ocean. In the world. From The Washington Post:
[T]he Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument would be expanded from almost 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles — all of it adjacent to seven islands and atolls controlled by the United States. The designation would include waters up to 200 nautical miles offshore from the territories.
“It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to the pristine ocean,” said Enric Sala, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence who has researched the area’s reefs and atolls since 2005.
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