President Barack Obama is set to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, the White House announced Friday, which will make the reserve the largest protected marine area in the world.
The protected area will more than quadruple in size, expanding to more than 582,500 square miles, or roughly twice the size of Texas, according to Reuters.
Obama is expected to visit Midway Atoll, a remote piece of land in the protected area that was the site of a pivotal World War II battle, on Sept. 1 to bring attention to the threat that rising ocean temperatures poses.
Former president George W. Bush established the monument 10 years ago, protecting about 140,000 square miles of ocean around Hawaii. The protected area is home to more than 7,000 marine species, including a 4,265-year-old coral reef, according to Reuters.
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