POSTED: 10:40 a.m. HST, Aug 4, 2010
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Committee has added Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the prestigious World Heritage List, making it the second largest site so designated.
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is a recognized national treasure. It is the United States’ single largest conservation area with 139,797 square miles and home to more than 7,000 marine species, a fourth of which are found only there.
The monument is administered jointly by the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce and the State of Hawaii. The United States nominated the monument as a World Heritage site in 2009. The remote chain of atolls and surrounding waters is the first U.S. site to be added to the World Heritage List in 15 years and joins 20 other U.S. sites, including the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty, on the list.