Well, sort of. President Bush is to create the world’s largest marine protection area in the Pacific Ocean. Mining and commercial fishing will be banned across 505,000 square kilometers, in an area larger than California. These preserves include the the northern Marianas Islands and the Mariana Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments and are home to hundreds of species of bird and fish that are found nowhere else, including, the Micronesian megapode, which is the only known living bird that uses volcanic heat to incubate its eggs. The Mariana Trench is also home to the deepest spot on the sea floor.
“These places are so pristine that they are like time machines that take us hundreds of years in the past,” says Enric Sala, a marine ecologist at the National Geographic Society, speaking to National Public Radio.
George W. Bush used the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows the president to protect areas of historic or scientific significance on land owned or controlled by the United States.
A legacy, of sorts.