The president sets in motion the largest ocean preserve ever—but will industry kill it?
Sea Change: Bush’s proposal would preserve up to 700,000 square miles of the central Pacific, including the Mariana Trench, and protect sea life, such as leatherback turtles and coral reefs. Georgette Douwma/Getty Images
In his eight years as president, George W. Bush has done little to win the hearts of conservationists. Opponents criticize his backing of widespread drilling and mining projects, lax oversight of industrial pollution, and recent attempts to dismantle the 36-year-old Endangered Species Act.
But now, as he’s leaving office, the 43rd president is attempting to “blue” his legacy by granting national-monument status to a string of pristine islands, atolls and coral reefs in the center of the Pacific Ocean.