Today, the Saipan Blogger commended U.K. Foreign Minister David Miliband for designating the Chagos Islands as the world's largest marine reserve. The islands and their surrounding waters cover 210,000 square miles, an area larger than California and more than 60 times the size of Yellowstone National Park. The new marine protected area is larger than the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (~145,00 square miles) and the Islands Unit of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (~12,000 square miles) combined.
The 55 tiny Chagos Islands are the world's largest atoll, square in the middle of the Indian Ocean. They hold half of the world's remaining healthy coral reefs, 175,000 breeding seabird pairs and threatened Hawksbill and Green Turtles.
"Well, it's huge, the Chagos Islands alone will make up 40% of the world's marine reserves," says Jay Nelson of the Pew Environment Group. "We're still absorbing the news."
Congrats, Jay. Congrats, Pew. Congrats, World.
Visit Global Ocean Legacy for more information.