President Barack Obama declared new marine sanctuaries in Lake Michigan and the tidal waters of Maryland on Monday, while Chile blocked off more than 200,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean near the world-famous Easter Island from commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration. He also announced two new marine sanctuaries, and they are not in Alaska. But for those who hope or fear that Obama will create a marine national monument in Alaska, take note: Obama says he’s not done.
In a separate announcement, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet shared his plans to create the Nazca-Desventuradas marine park, which will set aside almost 115,000 square miles of water surrounding the San Ambrosio and San Felix islands.
The cities of Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Two Rivers worked with the state of Wisconsin and others on the development of the nomination application. A public comment period will last until mid-January, and, if approved, they’ll join the country’s 14 other marine protected areas.
The proposed boundaries for the Mallows Bay national marine sanctuary.
“We will leave our children a planet as full of possibilities as the one we inherited”.
Kerry also said negotiations were underway on a new marine-protected area arrangement between sites in Cuba and the United States in which the two former Cold War-era rivals will share scientific research data. The proposal should help rebuild depleted fisheries, conservationists said. “The Mallows Bay-Potomac River and Wisconsin-Lake Michigan nominations demonstrate this new bottom-up approach, which ensures communities lead in identifying and protecting their valuable coastal and marine areas”. In Chile for the conference, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the launch of Sea Scout, a global initiative targeting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by uniting world leaders, expanding technology and information-sharing and identifying illegal fishing hot spots.
Chile opened the Our Ocean conference by declaring a 243,630-square-mile (631,368-square-kilometer) sanctuary around Easter Island in the Pacific off its eastern coast. The plethora of sea creatures found on this island make Easter Island a rich place of marine species sound on the planet. This would be the first of its kind water reserves much likely to be called as the parks in the sea.
“I grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, so I’ve always had a special love for the ocean and I’ve always had a firsthand understanding of just how essential they are to our people’s way of life”, the President said in a video statement he made about the plan for the 2015 Our Ocean conference.