The Papahānaumokuākea Precedent: Ecosystem-scale Marine Protected Areas in the EEZ by Alison Rieser
In 2006, the United States designated by presidential proclamation a 362,073 square kilometers protected area around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a remote chain of coral atolls, reefs, and islands extending 1200 miles seaward of the U.S.’s fiftieth state. A subsequent proclamation renamed the area Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to reflect the area’s cultural and spiritual significance to the Native Hawaiian people. In 2009, the U.S. designated additional national monuments in areas of the Pacific Ocean the U.S. claims as exclusive economic zones (“EEZs”), including submerged lands within the Marianas Trench and the waters surrounding the U.S. Line Islands. These designations brought the total area under monument status to over 850,000 square kilometers.