Both Sides in Marine Monument Fight Invoke Hawaiian Culture - ABC News: This year, a group of Native Hawaiian leaders urged President Barack Obama to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, while keeping the main Hawaiian islands outside the boundaries. The move would make the monument about 582,000 square miles, more than twice the size of Texas.
The White House isn't indicating when a decision will be made. Obama also has been asked to designate new national monuments in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and elsewhere.
The effort to expand the Pacific monument has supporters and opponents invoking Hawaiian culture to further their agendas. Some believe expansion of one of the world's largest marine conservation areas will protect a sacred place, while others say making more waters off-limits will harm fishermen for a cause pushed by environmentalists with deep pockets.
A presidential proclamation established the monument in 2006. Only scientific research and cultural activities are allowed, with commercial fishing and recreational activities such as diving banned.
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