Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the single largest fully-protected conservation area
in the world. It encompasses 582,578 square miles of the Pacific Ocean (1,508,870 square kilometers) – an area nearly the size of the Gulf of Mexico. The Monument, created expressly to protect an exceptional array of natural and cultural resources, was established by Presidential Proclamation 8031 on June 15, 2006 and expanded by Presidential Proclamation 9478 on August 26, 2016 under the authority of the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 431-433). It is the United States' only mixed (natural and cultural) UNESCO World Heritage Site, recogized for both its cultural and natural significance.

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February 2013