Photograph by Enric Sala
In the last few days of his presidency, President George W. Bush created three new national monuments in the Pacific Ocean in the largest ocean conservation effort ever. The new monuments will protect Kingman Reef (as part of the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument), Rose Atoll, and the Mariana Trench, which is home to Earth’s deepest spot.
All three of the protected areas are home to many species, including the giant coral colony shown in the photo above.
Although it seems like these species would only be protected as long as
they stayed inside the monument boundaries, the benefits go beyond the
imaginary lines. National Geographic Society marine ecologist Enric
Sala says “when you protect an area, marine life recovers inside the
area. After years, fish spill over and help replenish the life outside