Huge New Marine Reserve, Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Pacifci Marine Reserve
Photo Credit: Marine Conservatory Institute, Click to enlarge.

We knew this was coming. gCaptain reports implementation and gives more detail.

“The proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to six times its current size, resulting in 490,000 square miles (about 390,000 square nautical miles) of protected environment around tropical islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean. At that size, it is now the largest protected area on the planet, land or sea. The protected area encompasses the seven islands and reefs of Wake, Johnston, Baker, Howland, Kingman, Jarvis and Palmyra, as well as the ocean around them.”

If I read this right, the area encompassed in larger than the entire US Atlantic Coast EEZ (considering Gulf of Mexico separate) and the difficulty policing it is exacerbated by the fact that it is in several pieces separated by hundreds of miles. As I noted earlier, this sure looks like justification for at least one more cutter in Hawaii, and possibly other additional ships and air assets there or in Guam. A ninth NSC added to the FY2016 budget appears well justified.