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Image of the Week

Our image this week is of the colorful coral reefs in Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as it becomes the largest protected area in the world. Last Friday, President Obama quadrupled the size of this marine sanctuary that was originally created in 2006 by President George W. Bush and later became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. The protected waters will include 582,578 square miles – larger than all the US national parks combined – and contain more than 7,000 marine species, many of which are endangered or threatened. This declaration comes a week before Hawaii hosts the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress and shows the world that the US can be a global leader in conservation and biodiversity protection.