The largest marine sanctuary in the world is crowned to a scattered chain of Hawaiian islands. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands will form part of a 140,000-square-mile (362,580-square-kilometer) protected area, and this is nearly the size of California! And this makes the islands surpass the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
U.S. President George W. Bush announced this after designating the wildlife-rich islands and surrounding seas as a national monument. Home to more than 7,000 marine species, the region’s about a quarter of these species are not found anywhere else on Earth.
The islands also house breeding for millions of seabirds and endangered animals, which includes the Hawaiian monk seal, and the Hawaiian green sea turtle. The monk seal is one of the world’s rarest marine mammals.