PHOTOS: Vast New Ocean Refuge Home to Huge Crab, Coral

PHOTOS: Vast New Ocean Refuge Home to Huge Crab, Coral
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Fan-shaped corals thrive on a reef near Rose Atoll, the 53-acre (22-hectare) island heart of the smallest of three new U.S. marine national reserves announced by President George W. Bush on January 6, 2009.

As with all the new reserves, the protected region extends 50 miles out to sea--stopping short of the 200 miles allowed by international law. Still, marine ecologist Enric Sala said, "We should be very happy, because it's the largest marine area ever protected. ... These places are the base lines to understand the magnitude of our impact on our ocean and [design] the best blueprint for the future."
—Photograph by Jean Kenyon/Coral Reef Ecosystem Division/Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center/NOAA
 
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