Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, 582,578 sq mi (1,508,870 sq km), in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the NW Hawaiian Islands, c.270 mi (435 km) NW of Oahu; est. 2006 as Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, renamed 2007. The monument, one of the largest protected marine areas in the world, includes seamounts and submerged banks, Midway and other atolls, and numerous islands as well as a number of World War II shipwrecks. Its has extensive coral reefs and is home to more than 7,000 marine species, including federally protected green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals and black coral and 22 bird species, among them the rare Laysan duck. Papahānaumokuākea was greatly enlarged (to more than four times its original size) in 2016. The area has cultural significance for the Native Hawaiian community and is a World Heritage Site.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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