Palmyra
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Bush to name marine national monuments

Palmyra
Palmyra Atoll, where an airstrip stands as a reminder of World War II, will be part of the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument, one of three national marine monuments being created by President Bush. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Palmyra
A blacktip reef shark swims off the Palmyra Atoll, a 4.6-square-mile atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Palmyra Atoll will be protected as part of a marine national monument. Three such monuments being designated by President Bush on Tuesday will span 195,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean and protect some of the most ecologically rich areas of the world’s oceans. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Palmyra
Palm trees dominate much of the landscape around Palmyra Atoll. The atolls, islands and reefs that will make up the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument are well known for their flourishing marine habitat. In addition to Palmyra Atoll, this monument will include Kingman Reef, which emerges only on low tides, and Johnston Atoll, which was the site of nuclear blasts. Howard, Baker, Jarvis and Wake islands also are included. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Palmyra
A researcher counts fish near a coral reef at Palmyra Atoll, south of the Hawaiian Islands. The monument designations will ban most commercial fishing and will vastly limit recreational fishing, or fishing by indigenous people or researchers. In all of the protected areas, seafloor mining will be prohibited (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Palmyra
Palmyra Atoll is part of the marine national monuments being created by President Bush. The decision to make the designations under the Antiquities Act, coming just two weeks before Bush leaves office, means that he will have protected more square miles of ocean than any person in history. In 2006 Bush created the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, an area of 138,000 square miles. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Johnston Island National Wildlife Refuge
Johnston Island National Wildlife Refuge on Johnston Atoll is home to the large seabirds known as Brown boobies, among other wildlife. The atoll, which is part of the new marine national monuments, comprises four small islands that are the only land area in over 800,000 square miles of ocean, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The land provides critical habitat for central Pacific sea bird populations. (Lindsey Hayes / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge
Jarvis Island, where blue plate coral thrive, is part of the national marine monuments being created by President Bush and is home to Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge. Shallow reefs surround the island, but a broad submerged reef terrace extends off the eastern shore. Live coral covers about 50 percent of the reef terrace, and about 50 species of corals have been reported at Jarvis, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (James Maragos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge
Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge is a nesting and roosting habitat for 10 seabird species and 8 shorebird species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is home to threatened green turtles and endangered hawksbill sea turtles as well as hundreds of species of fish and corals. Howland Island will become part of the national marine monuments being created by President Bush. (Cindy Newton)
Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge
A regal tang and acropora coral are among hundreds of species of fish and coral found at the Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge. (James Maragos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Baker Island
Baker Island in the central Pacific is one of the areas to be included in the three new national marine monuments being created by President Bush. Marine conservation groups have long lobbied Bush to burnish his environmental record by leaving a legacy of ocean conservation. They pointed out that such moves would not alienate administration allies in the oil and gas industry, ranching, mining and forestry. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge
A damselfish swims among bubble-tip anemones at Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge in the central Pacific Ocean. (James Maragos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Rose Atoll Wildlife Refuge
The smallest of the three new designations will be Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, a remote speck in the Pacific near American Samoa. It’s well known for its healthy cover of multicolored corals, including the striking pink coralline algae along its fringing reef. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Mariana Islands
A yellow tang swims near Maug Island in the Mariana Archipelago, part of the marine monuments that President Bush is creating. (Robert Schroeder / NOAA)
Mariana Islands
Soft corals and tropical fish share a habitat on the summit of an underwater volcano more than 500 feet deep near the Mariana Islands. The Marianas Marine National Monument will cover more than 12,000 square nautical miles near the three northernmost islands in the 14-island chain, and will include the seafloor and deep water of the adjacent Mariana Trench. In a concession to commercial fishermen, the designation will not restrict fishing in the surface waters above the trench. (NOAA)
Mariana Islands
A tremendous mussel biomass adorns the lava ridges at the crest of the underwater NW Eifuku volcano north of Uracus near the proposed Marianas Marine National Monument. These 7-inch mussels are so densely massed that they obscure the bottom. The white galatheid crabs are 2.5 inches long. (NOAA)
Kingman Reef
An aerial view of Kingman Reef. President Bush will create three new marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean spanning 195,280 square miles and protecting some of the most ecologically rich areas of the world’s oceans. Kingman Reef and other islands in the central Pacific teem with sharks and other top predators as well as vibrant, healthy corals. (Robert J. Shallenberger / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Kingman Reef
Giant clams at Kingman Reef, which will be part of the new Pacific Remote Islands National Monument. (James Maragos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
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