President Bush has expressed interest in leaving a positive “blue legacy.” Last year, he created one of the biggest protected marine reserves in the world — 138,000 square miles of largely unspoiled reefs and shoals near Hawaii. He should create at least one and possibly more such reserves elsewhere in American waters before he leaves office — and should persuade other world leaders to do the same. [emphasis added]Additionally, an article in the Times on June 1st reports on one of the Monument proposals being considered by the President:
The Bush administration is taking steps to create a new kind of national monument encompassing Pearl Harbor and other World War II sites in the Pacific.I think this the rumored second Hawaiian monument that we've heard about, not the proposed Central Pacific monument from the NPR story. I would recommend reading both stories, but the information I gleam from this is that President Bush is still considering doing one monument with possibly more, which is what we have been saying since the beginning of this process. He is also putting the proposed monuments through an assessment phase, which we've also been saying.
If the president declares a Pacific war monument, it will require rethinking the concept of how monuments are organized. Unlike land-based national monuments or the relatively new Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument — 139,800 square miles of ocean waters and coral reefs around the archipelago northwest of Hawaii’s main islands — the areas in the monument being contemplated are not contiguous. [snip]
A memorandum from President Bush to the interior and defense secretaries released on Friday by the White House asked for their assessment of the value of a monument declaration “at Pearl Harbor and other sites associated with the war in the Pacific.” It added that recommendations should avoid “limiting the Department of Defense from carrying out” its mission.
The areas under consideration would include Ford Island, which was adjacent to battleship row in Pearl Harbor, where most of the large ships were sunk by Japanese bombers on Dec. 7, 1941. The memorandum made no mention of other sites being contemplated, but Midway and Wake Islands and Guam saw crucial World War II battles. [emphasis added]
So far there hasn't been any movement on the federal side for the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument, whether for or against. I still hold out hope that we will see an article similar to this New York Times article in the upcoming days.