President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to create the world's largest fully protected marine reserve, which will be in the central Pacific Ocean.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced the news of the reserve during an oceans meeting in New York on Thursday, saying the reserve will add new protections for coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Administration officials told The Washington Post that the ecosystems that will be included in the reserve are some of "the most vulnerable" to climate change.
"We have a responsibility to make sure our kids and their families and the future have the same ocean to serve it in the same way as we have — not to be abused, but to preserve and utilize," Kerry said at the oceans meeting. "And we're talking about an area of ocean that's nearly twice the size of Texas, and that will be protected in perpetuity from commercial fishing and other resource-extraction activities, like deep-water mining."
The Post also notes that Obama has protected environmental assets with his executive power more than any other president in the past 50 years. In June, Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from roughly 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles.