The health of the world's oceans has become a crucial issue in the last several decades as fish stocks have plummeted from overfishing, pollution, and changes in water chemistry from acidification associated with the release of carbon emissions. Some experts estimate that, unless radical changes are put in place, oceans could be unrecognizable by the middle of this century.
"If the various estimates we have received... come true, then we are in the situation where 40 years down the line we, effectively, are out of fish," says Pavan Sukhdev, head of the UN Environment Program.
Some have questioned the efficacy of this proposed expansion, since the waters surrounding the sanctuary are not considered the most at-threat, but it would certainly be a major step forward to confronting a global problem -- one that must be addressed for the sake of future generations.
"Let's make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world," said Obama.