You might be wondering why President Obama is announcing Tuesday he will use his executive authority to expand the Remote Pacific Islands National Marine Monument, a vast stretch of the central Pacific Ocean. Here are a few reasons:Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/17/why-is-obama-protecting-a-place-youve-never-heard-of-we-explain/
1. With marine reserves, bigger is often better. The original monument, established in 2009, is already nearly 82,000 square miles. But many scientists--such as Lance Morgan and Elliott Norse of the Redmond, Wash.-based Marine Conservation Institute--argue that the ecological benefits expand exponentially when sanctuaries are enlarged, both because they allow species to move freely and because they are easier to enforce. The possible expansion would encompass nearly 782,000 square miles.
2. Underwater mountains matter. Seamounts--massive mountains that lie beneath the ocean's surface--are hotspots of biodiversity. There are anywhere between 40 to 51 in the current protected area, and that number would reach between 241 and 251 if the president extends the reserve to 200 miles surrounding each of its seven islands and atolls.
3. Since it's devoid of people, animals thrive there. Almost everywhere in the world, small fish outnumber big fish. But in places such as Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef, scientists have found the biomass of large predators such as sharks outweighs that of smaller fish. The area--which also includes Wake, Johnston, Jarvis, Howland and Baker Islands--also features five species of protected sea turtles and 22 species of protected marine mammals as well as several million seabirds who gather there.