“The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, and the largest marine conservation area in the world. It encompasses 137,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean (105,564 square nautical miles) – an area larger than all the country’s national parks combined.
The extensive coral reefs found in Papahānaumokuākea – truly the rainforests of the sea – are home to over 7,000 marine species, one quarter of which are found only in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Many of the islands and shallow water environments are important habitats for rare species such as the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
Papahānaumokuākea is also of great cultural importance to Native Hawaiians with significant cultural sites found on the islands of Nihoa and Mokumanamana.
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was created by Presidential proclamation on June 15, 2006. See announcement and video here.“