President Obama, on August 26th, 2016, expanded the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument by Presidential Proclamation to about four times its original size as established by President George Bush in 2006.
We also thank the hundreds of thousands of supporters who, like us, signed the petition to expand the Marine Sanctuary as well as the hundreds of organizations who sent letters of support to the President. Alohahawaiionipaa.org’s support letter is reprinted below.
May 27, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
Re: Expanding PAPAHANAUMOKUAKEA MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENT in Hawaii
I am writing to you as an environmental scientist with a life time of field experience but who understands that you can accomplish more with a stroke of your pen than we can do in years of dedicated field research.
Expanding the boundaries of the Monument from 50 to 200 miles through an Executive Order/ Presidential Proclamation is one of the boldest, most far-sighted and most cost-effective decisions of your presidency to protect fragile environmental resources and at the same time ensure food security for generations to come.
Expanding the Monument will allow nature to heal itself even without the input of large additional management and research allocations. We can expect that within the next 10-15 years the Monument’s ocean wildlife will again turn into nature’s ocean fish farm like old time Native Hawaiians still remember it and, irrespective of Climate Change, will also again support a threatened seabird population. Within just a generation, commercial fishing beyond the 200-mile limit will provide bountiful harvests instead of further collapse of the commercial fishing industry as is expected if no action is taken. Instead of the ocean’s harvest being largely only available to the more affluent as the trend is now, it will again be within financial reach of everyone.
Mahalo, and thank you so much for listening,
Klaus Radtke, PhD.
Wildland Resource Scientist
P.S. Please visit Hawaii in the fall during the World Conservation Congress and, if time permits, also visit the Monument. This will give you a base line to judge for yourself twenty years from now the positive impacts your foresight have accomplished. I must again state what I truly believe: all our present management and research, while providing validity to your actions, can never accomplish what your leadership can do in healing nature with a stroke of your pen.