The largest swath of protected ocean ever (!) could be created in weeks, simply with President Obama’s signature.
But Hawai’i’s powerful fishing lobby is ferocious and is working hard to stop the deal from closing and without a wave of voices supporting the dolphins, sharks, turtles, and more who depend on this sea, everything could be lost.
Insiders say that Obama wants to hear from the international community, knowing that protecting the ocean is a global task, and a failure not only threatens the majestic creatures in the sea, it threatens all of our survival. Add your name to the petition below with just one click to show him we’re all in this together — when enough people have signed we’ll deliver our voices directly to the White House and to the local leaders in Hawai’i who need our support:
To President Obama, Hawai’i Governor Ige, and Senators Hirono and Schatz:
“To secure the future of our planet, we need to protect the beautiful biodiversity that sustains it. The proposed marine national monument at Papahānaumokuākea is an opportunity for your government and the world to take the kind of dramatic steps we need. As concerned citizens with a stake in our seas, we call on you to make Papahānaumokuākea the largest protected space in the world, one with the maximum possible boundaries, a place we can look to for hope and inspiration.”
To save our oceans, experts say we need to set aside as much as 30% in protected areas as soon as possible. This reserve — in a sacred placeHawaiʻians call Papahānaumokuākea and that some see as the source of humans’ connection with the holy — would be a huge step in that direction, protecting 1.6 million square kilometers of ocean habitat home to over 7,000 species. A quarter of these can’t be found anywhere else on the planet — it’s a stunning piece of our precious biodiversity that we can’t afford to lose.
But Papahānaumokuākea is also unique because experts say it’s an exceptional ‘climate refuge’. As our oceans heat up, marine life is traveling to cooler waters — and this reserve is big enough and placed perfectly to span both tropical and more temperate ocean. That means it could maintain coral reef — and the critical biodiversity it sustains — in a way that most other places on Earth won’t be able to.
President Obama — who is from Hawaiʻi, a local hero — has overseen the creation of several critical protected areas, but this could be a new crowning achievement — one that he could announce at home in Hawaiʻi at a major conference in September.
We’ve fought for and won protected areas around the world, including off the coast of Hawaiʻi just two years ago — where we beat these very same lobbyists.Let’s show everyone from the locals behind the project to Obama himself that the world is 100% behind this plan. Add your name to the petition nowwith just one click, and protect Papahānaumokuākea:
The fishing industry doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the debate. They want to be able to keep fishing big-eye tuna in the area — but they’ve already fished out 86% of the world’s stock
of the species. And not only that, they only get about 5% of their catch from within these waters, and would be free to keep fishing elsewhere. But they’re powerful lobbyists and they’re making their case heard — let’s make sure we drown them out!
Danny, Nick, Luis, Lisa, Nell, Risalat, Ari, Emma, and the rest of the Avaaz team
Native Hawaiians Call for World’s Largest Marine Reserve (Pew Trusts)
Obama’s moving closer to creating the world’s largest marine reserve — in Hawaii (Washington Post)