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Hawaii humpback whale sanctuary won’t be expanded


    A humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii in this NOAA Fisheries photo.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it’s abandoning the idea of expanding a national marine sanctuary around Hawaii.

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Acting Director John Armor said in a statement today that the agency is withdrawing its proposal after listening to input from the community and the state of Hawaii.

The agency had proposed expanding the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to cover the ecosystem instead of a single species. The proposal would have also extended the geographic boundary of the sanctuary.

Armor’s statement said the sanctuary will continue its work to protect humpback whales, support researchers and educate the public.

The agency plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register formally withdrawing its proposal.

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