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Fact Sheet: Fulfilling the President's Vision for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument

March 02, 2007

Today, Mrs. Laura Bush will announce the Native Hawaiian name of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. On June 15, 2006, the President established the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument and committed to giving it a native Hawaiian name. Mrs. Bush will announce the new name, Papah naumoku kea Marine National Monument, in a ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii, accompanied by Governor Linda Lingle and native Hawaiian elders.

  • The name (pronounced Pa-pa-ha-now-mo-ku-ah-kay-uh) comes from an ancient Hawaiian tradition concerning the genealogy and formation of the Hawaiian Islands.

Mrs. Bush Is Furthering The President's Commitment To Good Stewardship Of Our Natural Resources. On March 1, Mrs. Bush visited the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument to increase public awareness of one of this Nation s most exceptional marine ecosystems. The Monument represents the largest single conservation area in our Nation s history and the largest protected marine area in the world. This area contains 2.7 million acres of coral reef, 14 million nesting seabirds, and 250 fish species; in total, it includes about 7000 species, a quarter of which exist nowhere else on Earth.

  • While visiting the remote archipelago, Mrs. Bush toured Midway Atoll, viewed the bird population, participated in conservation activities, and toured historic buildings significant to the Battle of Midway.

The President's FY08 Budget Supports Continued Protection Of The Region. The President's ocean budget builds on progress made in implementing his Ocean Action Plan of 2004.

  • The President's budget includes an additional $2.9 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address management needs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) as well as for infrastructure priorities on Midway Atoll.
  • The ocean initiative, which represents $143 million in new funding over the President's FY07 request, also includes $8 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for management and enforcement activities at the Marine National Monument.

Our Duty Is To Use The Land and Seas Wisely. Americans are united in the belief we must preserve our natural heritage and safeguard the environment around us for future generations. This belief is affirmed with the President's establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, and through other conservation efforts:

  • Marine Debris Removal. Marine debris, including derelict fishing gear and plastics, continue to affect our marine ecosystems and the living resources that inhabit them. In 2006, NOAA picked up 21 tons of marine debris in the NWHI, totaling 563 tons between 1996 and 2006. In addition to marine debris modeling and research efforts to successfully predict debris location and movements, the President's FY08 budget includes $590,000 for debris removal in the NWHI. But work is needed to address the sources of marine debris, including at the international level.
  • Centennial Parks Initiative. In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Bush directed the creation of specific performance goals and select signature projects and programs to enhance our National Parks during the decade leading up to their 2016 centennial celebration. This provides unique opportunities to leverage government investments, private philanthropy, and technology to connect visitors coming to the main Hawaiian Islands, the USS Arizona Memorial, and Pearl Harbor to the history of Midway Atoll and America s Victory in the Pacific along with the natural and cultural treasures in the Papah naumoku kea Marine National Monument.
  • World Heritage Status. The State of Hawaii, working with its Federal partners, is finalizing its application for the Monument to be placed on the United States tentative list for possible World Heritage Status site nomination in 2009. The Papah naumoku kea Marine National Monument embodies World Heritage and American ideals of stewardship of natural and cultural heritage in an area of national significance and is an ideal candidate to become a World Heritage site.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Fulfilling the President's Vision for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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