Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument

With all the (mostly) nasty news coming out of Iraq these days, it must have been nice for the Bush folks to announce something as delightful as the creation of a new, massive marine park in the distant Hawaiian islands. (and see how happy the dolphins are in thiis photo?) Never mind that few people will ever get to go there because they’re so damn far away, but it is a delightful breathe of fresh air for those of us who love to see the National Park Service NOAA grow…and by grow, I mean with meaningful parks and additions, not pork barrel crap like <insert Senator’s Name Here> National Brick Museum or something.

Lots of folks are reporting this today, that the Prez announced the creation of the world’s largest marine protected area, called Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument (pronounced NOINAM), which will consist of some 140,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean. The new monument will surround a necklace of islands and atolls stretching from the main Hawaiian Islands to Midway Atoll and beyond. Whoopee, for divers and conservationists alike, as fishing will be phased out, and you will not be able to mine coral reefs (sometimes done for jewelry) or do other nasty things that hurt cute fishies and coral.