Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Sanctuary

Good environmental news is all too rare: The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have become the world's largest protected oceanic environment.

A few weeks ago we saw a presentation by the author of "Archipelago." Her photos were incredible, but the thing that stuck with me was the statistic that 55% of the biomass off the islands are apex predators: sharks, jacks, and tunas. On the main islands, that number is 5%. I'll never see the Great Plains covered with buffalo, and I may never be able to afford a trip to the Serengeti, but I've been fortunate enough to dive some places before industrialized fishing and the grandeur is beyond description. I'm thrilled that a great oceanic environment has gained protection.