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Top 6 Ocean Highlights of 2016

Over one million square miles of global ocean were protected in 2016! Here are our 6 favorite new protected areas!


1. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Expansion

ddddddPresident Obama expanded this marine monument from 139,818 to 582,578 square miles, making it the world’s largest protected area at the time. Papahānaumokuākea is home to more than 7,000 species, a quarter of which are endemic, or found nowhere else on Earth; some have only recently been discovered.


2. Ross Sea Marine Protected Area


Soon after the announcement of Papahānaumokuākea’s world record expansion, the Ross Sea marine protected area in Antarctica became the largest on the planet at 598,000 square miles! Scientists believe that the Southern Ocean produces approximately three-quarters of the nutrients that sustain life in the global ocean.


3. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument


President Obama protected nearly 5,000 square miles around Atlantic canyons and seamounts that are home to hundreds of species including stony corals, black corals, soft corals, sea pens, anemones and sponges!


4. Russian Arctic National Park


The Russian Government expanded the Russian Arctic National Park to include the world’s most northern islands, Franz Josef Land. The newly expanded park spans 22,394 square miles and protects habitat for such species as the Atlantic walrus, bowhead whale, polar bear, narwhal and white gull.


5. Saint Helena Marine Protected Area


At the 2016 Our Ocean conference, the United Kingdom announced the designation of a sustainable use marine protected area throughout the entire exclusive economic zone around St. Helena (172,000-square mile area). This area is home to whale sharks and humpback whales, as well as many shorebirds!


6. The Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve dddEcuador created a large marine reserve that protects the highest abundance of sharks known in the world! Over 16,200 square miles of this reserve is no-take area.


  1. Airan on February 1, 2017 at 1:35 am

    This is fantastic , I am really looking forward to see more protected areas this 2017 🙂 we all know that might be challenging with the current global situation but we can do this together ! ✌?️??

  2. Harga HP Terbaru on March 28, 2017 at 5:41 am

    I agree with the policy of the addition of marine areas to get protection from the state government. Supposedly some countries that territory by sea area more than the mainland also follow this policy. Some maritime countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines or South Korea can follow up with a policy like that.