Strong support for Pacific Remote Islands marine sanctuary

Media Contacts
Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Washington Legislative Office, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

WASHINGTON – Amid a global biodiversity crisis, Environment America Research & Policy Center and groups within its network submitted Friday more than 34,000 public comments to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in support of the proposed Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary. 

Americans are wild about wildlife, so it’s no surprise to see public support bubbling up to protect the Pacific Remote Islands and the corals, whales, turtles and more that thrive there,” said Lisa Frank, the executive director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Washington program office. “Some of the world’s most pristine ocean ecosystems are in and around the Pacific Remote Islands, but if we don’t address warming waters, overfishing and other threats, they may not be pristine for long.” 

President Joe Biden weighed in on March 21, when he directed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimando, who oversees NOAA, to consider designating a new marine sanctuary that would include the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The sanctuary proposal would expand the boundaries of the monument’s protected areas. 

“We hope the Biden administration will value the opinions of the tens of thousands of Americans who took the time to comment in favor of this proposal,” said Steve Blackledge, the senior director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s conservation campaigns. “Along with the public comments, the almost unparalleled variety of marine life in the area tells us it’s time for the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary.”

The proposal NOAA is considering for this ocean wonderland would help protect sea turtles, pearl oysters, giant clams, sharks, dolphins, whales, seabirds and other threatened, endangered and depleted species.