Support the Expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Dear President Obama,

As you saw from the letter recently signed by nearly 500 scientists, the scientific community strongly supports establishing no-take marine reserves in waters of the United States.

As marine, natural and social scientists, we would like to express our strong support for your proposal to expand the boundaries of Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to the edges of the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as is your right under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

The existing protected areas extending 50 miles around the islands were not established using any scientific guidelines. The latest science strongly supports protecting large areas that provide for all major needs of marine species (e.g., protecting both the nesting and feeding areas for seabirds).  Highly migratory species such as endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles traverse this region along with rare species such as beaked whales and melon-headed whales.  The near-pristine islands and atolls, seamounts and surrounding waters are among the world’s healthiest and most intact ocean ecosystems, and provide stepping stones for species moving across the central Pacific.  They are an irreplaceable area of significant scientific interest as a baseline for how intact tropical ecosystems function. 

We heartily support your executive action to give permanent, strong protection for biodiversity in the waters surrounding these islands by excluding all commercial fishing and mineral extraction, and any other activities that would degrade the largely intact marine ecosystems in them.  Given this history-making opportunity, we strongly recommend extending existing protections throughout the expanded Monument to 200 nautical miles.

We applaud you Mr. President for understanding the importance of expanding the boundaries of Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to the edges of the US EEZ and giving strong protection to these marine ecosystems.  By doing so you demonstrate global leadership and send a strong message to countries around the world that are deciding whether to protect their own marine environments.

We will be pleased to celebrate the historic day when you designate the largest strongly protected place on Earth.


Enric Sala, PhD National Geographic Society

Sylvia Earle, PhD Mission Blue and National Geographic Society

Alan Friedlander, PhD University of Hawaii

Elliott Norse, PhD Marine Conservation Institute

Lance Morgan, PhD Marine Conservation Institute

Kirsten Grorud-Colvert, PhD Oregon State University 

Will McClintock, PhD University of California Santa Barbara 

Matthew Lacchei, PhD University of Hawaii

John Guinotte, PhD Marine Conservation Institute

Sara Maxwell, PhD Stanford University

William Cheung, PhD The University of British Columbia

Callum Roberts, PhD University of York

Peter Auster, PhD University of Connecticut/ Sea Research Foundation

K. David Hyrenbach, PhD Hawaii Pacific University

Jerry R. Schubel, PhD Aquarium of the Pacific

Les Watling, PhD University of Hawaii

Robert Richmond, PhD University of Hawaii

Nigella Hillgarth, PhD New England Aquarium

Beth Pike, MEM  Marine Conservation Institute

Katelin Shugart-Schmidt, MS Marine Conservation Institute

Eduardo E. Inigo-Elias, PhD Cornell University

Samantha Oester,  PhD Student Society for Conservation Biology/ International Union for Conservation of Nature/George Mason University

Gail Osherenko, JD Marine Science Institute/ University of California, Santa Barbara

Jason Hall-Spencer, PhD Plymouth University, UK

Erdal Ozhan, PhD Mugla University, Turkey/ Mediterranean Coastal Foundation

Lisa Suatoni, PhD Natural Resource Defense Council

Alan T. White, PhD The Nature Conservancy

David Obura, PhD CORDIO East Africa

Paul Dayton, PhD University of California San Diego

Richard Strathmann, PhD Friday Harbor Marine Lab University of Washington

Nichole Price,  PhD  Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Jennifer Caselle, PhD University of California Santa Barbara

Thomas Shirley, PhD University of Alaska Fairbanks/ Texas A&M University

Peter Abrams, PhD University of Toronto

Andrea Saenz-Arroyo, PhD Colegio de la Frontera Sur

Cynthia Barbosa da Silveira, MS San Diego State University

Anna Zivian, PhD Ocean Conservancy

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, PhD Waitt Institute

Anca Segall,  PhD San Diego State University

Elva Escobar, PhD Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Cotton Rockwood, MS Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Diva Amon, PhD University of Hawaii

Stuart Sandin, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography

David K. Mellinger, PhD Oregon State University

Alan Springer, PhD University of Alaska Fairbanks 

Colin W. Clark, PhD University of British Columbia 

Aldo Chircop, PhD Dalhousie University 

Amanda Vincent, PhD University of British Columbia, Canada

Charles H. Peterson, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jessica Meeuwig, PhD University of Western Australia 

Vera Alexander, PhD University of Alaska Fairbanks

Tony Koslow, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Barbara Block, PhD Woods Institute for the Environment

Daniel Pauly, PhD University of British Columbia 

Fiorenza Micheli, PhD Stanford University

Andrew A. Rosenberg, PhD Union of Concerned Scientists

Guilherme F. Dutra, MS Conservation International

Laurence McCook, PhD Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Leslie Cornick, PhD Alaska Pacific University 

Michael F. Hirshfield, PhD Oceana

Rashid Sumaila, PhD University of British Columbia

Robert B Dunbar, PhD Woods Institute for the Environment

Richard Pyle, PhD Bernice P.Bishop Museum, Hawaii

Stuart Pimm, PhD Duke University

Claudio Campagna, PhD Wildlife Consevation Society 

Oran Young, PhD Bren School

Jenna Stolfi, BA The Beach Review

Lynne Hinkey, PhD University of Maryland

Robert Steneck, PhD University of Maine

Dominique Barnes, MA Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Drew M. Talley, PhD University of San Diego 

Emily Kelly, MS Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Jason Hastings Murray, PhD IM Systems Group 

Mark Tetrick, MAS University of Washington 

Mary Yang, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Talina Konotchick, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Arthur J. Miller, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Matthew Forrest, PhD Scripps Institute of Oceanography 

Grantly Galland, PhD Galland Consulting 

Jennifer Smith, PhD Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Phoi Tran, PhD Lawrence Berkeley National Labs

Phil Bouchet, MRes University of Western Australia 

Melissa Roth, PhD University of California Berkeley 

Yan Wei Lim, BS San Diego State University 

Merry Youle, PhD Rainbow Rock 

Jacqueline Padilla Gamino, PhD California State University Dominguez Hills

Jeffrey O'Hara, PhD Union of Concerned Scientists 

Julie Hambrook Berkman, PhD Foundation for Good Governance of International Spaces

Lawrence Niles, PhD Conservation Wildlife Foundation

Shelley Dahlgren, PhD 

Onno Gross, PhD DEEPWAVE

Julia Horrocks, PhD University of the West Indies

Jeb Byers, PhD University of Georgia

Judith Lang, PhD AGRRA Project

Shaye Wolf, PhD Center for Biological Diversity

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, PhD Tethys Research Institute

Nikita Steele, MS Rhodes University

Tracy Ouellette, MD

John Conley, MBA

Laurence Romeo, MA Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Patricia McKenna, MSW 

Karen L. Noorbut-McElhany, MA

Luz Helena Rodríguez-Vargas, MS University Sains Malaysia

Vienna Saccomanno, BS Marine Conservation Institute

Allison Randolph, BS Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Lauren Lochrie, BS University of Glasgow

Garry Dale, BS Oregon State University

Kevin Warren, BA 

Cynthia Jennings, MS

Patrick McCauley, BS Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Cherie Prothro, BS Waitt Foundation

Sarah Heidmann, BS Oregon State University

Hannah Prentice, MS British Ecological Society

Alberto Begue, PhD

Kira Huges, MS

David Ainley, PhD Friends of the Ross Sea Ecosystem

Ellen Hines, PhD San Francisco State University

Richard Perrotta, BA University of California, Santa Cruz

Ricky Roy, PhD Student University of Washington

Monica Picon, DVM UBA

Lida Teneva, PhD Conservation International

Steve Murray, PhD California State University Fullerton

Ellen K. Pikitch, PhD Stony Brook University

Gary E. Davis, MS GEDavis & Associates

Michael Gravitz, MPP Marine Conservation Institute

Scott Consaul Atkinson, MS University of Queensland

Corey Bradshaw, PhD The University of Adelaide

Tim Stephens, PhD University of Sydney 

Jeffrey M. Leis, PhD University of Tasmania

John M. Pandolfi, PhD University of Queensland

Ian R. Tibbetts, PhD University of Queensland

Stephanie Roach, MS Waitt Institute

Michael Dessner, BA Waitt Institute

Mark Sullivan, BS National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Frances Kinney, MS Ocean Connectors

Jennifer Ovenden, PhD University of Queensland

Pamela Elaine Michael, PhD candidate University of Tasmania

Carolina Dratva, BS Mission Blue

Sheila A. McKenna, PhD National Park Service

Jana Michaelis, MS University of Bremen

Sarah B Stewart, PhD

Deborah Beck, MA United Federation of Teachers

Satyendra Datt Tripathi, PhD