That's good news for plummeting ocean diversity. The designated area boasts 19 species of whales and dolphins, giant clams, sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals and 14 million birds, including many of the last albatross and boobies. Endangered and threatened species are rarely found in such profusion elsewhere on the planet. Don Palawski, a Pacific Islands refuge manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the region is a model of what healthy coral-reef ecosystems should look like and, if well-preserved, could teach us how to better steward damaged reefs closer to civilization.