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Physical Feature: PMNM Size Matters

PMNM compared against other geographies.
PMNM compared against other geographies. Photo Credit: ONMS

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site is one of the largest fully protected conservation areas in the world. It encompasses 582,578 square miles (1,508,870 square kilometers) of the Pacific Ocean – an area nearly the size of the Gulf of Mexico! Large-scale conservation areas are important to protect highly mobile species, such as sharks and marine mammals. They also protect entire ecosystems, preserving critical ecological functions and conserving biodiversity. The largest protected area is currently the Chagos Marine Protected Area in the Indian Ocean, followed by the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and World Heritage Site in the Pacific. New, even larger sites are currently being proposed in the hope of protecting the marine diversity we have left. At present, only about 1% of all oceans and seas are protected world-wide.

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