Marianas Trench Marine National Monument


SOURCE: Council on Environmental Quality, Pew Charitable Trusts, NOAA

We have and everyone else have already covered what is turning out to be the paradoxical blue legacy Bush will leave behind.  But I thought it worth posting this link which is actual text of the presidential proclamation.

The Mariana Volcanic Arc contains objects of scientific interest, including the largest active mud volcanoes on Earth. The Champagne vent, located at the Eifuku submarine volcano, produces almost pure liquid carbon dioxide. This phenomenon has only been observed at one other site in the world. The Sulfur Cauldron, a pool of liquid sulfur, is found at the Daikoku submarine volcano. The only other known location of molten sulfur is on Io, a moon of Jupiter. Unlike other reefs across the Pacific, the northernmost Mariana reefs provide unique volcanic habitats that support marine biological communities requiring basalt. Maug Crater represents one of only a handful of places on Earth where photosynthetic and chemosynthetic communities of life are known to come together.

The waters of the archipelago’s northern islands are among the most biologically diverse in the Western Pacific and include the greatest diversity of seamount and hydrothermal vent life yet discovered. These volcanic islands are ringed by coral ecosystems with very high numbers of apex predators, including large numbers of sharks. They also contain one of the most diverse collections of stony corals in the Western Pacific. The northern islands and shoals in the archipelago have substantially higher large fish biomass, including apex predators, than the southern islands and Guam. The waters of Farallon de Pajaros (also known as Uracas), Maug, and Asuncion support some of the largest biomass of reef fishes in the Mariana Archipelago. These relatively pristine coral reef ecosystems are objects of scientific interest and essential to the long-term study of tropical marine ecosystems.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the Antiquities Act do proclaim that there are hereby set apart and reserved as the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (the “monument” or “marine national monument”) for the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States within the boundaries described below

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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