Originally published on September 30, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Goal: Applaud the president’s decision to dramatically expand the marine sanctuary near Hawaii
The steady decline of coral reefs and sea life has prompted President Obama to significantly expand a marine sanctuary near Hawaii. A previous ForceChange petition warned of the hazards of overfishing and the destruction wrought upon Hawaii’s marine life and ecosystems. This decision to expand the sanctuary is a huge step in the right direction, and the president should be commended for taking this action.
Established in 2009, the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument has now grown from 82,000 square miles to 490,000 square miles. The president’s decision has allowed the preserve to grow six times larger and nearly three times larger than California. Many endangered and species occupying this area include dolphins, whales, sea turtles, groupers, reef sharks, pearl oysters, coconut crabs, bumphead parrotfish, and giant clams.
Although Hawaiian tuna fishing companies fought against the idea, the White House has produced the largest marine reserve in the world completely off limits to commercial fishing and resource extraction. By invoking the Antiquities Act of 1906, the president is granted the authority to enshrine unique natural and historic sites without congressional approval. The law has previously been invoked to protect landmarks including the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.
By signing the petition below you will applaud President Obama for guiding our country in the right direction by preserving the beautiful coral reefs and aquatic animals living beside the Hawaiian islands.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Your decision to significantly expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument near Hawaii is commendable and greatly appreciated. I would like to personally thank you for taking direct action to preserve the marine life and delicate ecosystems struggling to survive beside the islands. Although the environment and endangered species still live under threat, we have taken an enormous step towards repairing the damage we have done to our own land, water, and wildlife.
For too long, overfishing and pollution have threatened the delicate balance of fish, coral reefs, sea turtles, marine mammals, insects, shellfish, birds, and plants that once flourished along the waters and coasts of the Hawaiian islands. As large numbers of coral reefs continue dying off, they no longer produce the algae necessary for the survival of other species. This domino effect contaminates the entire food chain within the ecosystem, and we have been ignoring it for decades.
Thank you, President Obama. Or as they say on the islands, “Mahalo.”
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mikhail Rogov via Wikimedia Commons