HONOLULU – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's abandoning the idea of expanding a national marine sanctuary around Hawaii.
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Acting Director John Armor said in a statement Tuesday the agency is withdrawing its proposal after listening to input from the community and the state of Hawaii.
The agency had proposed expanding the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to cover the ecosystem instead of a single species. The proposal would have also extended the geographic boundary of the sanctuary.
Armor's statement says the sanctuary will continue its work to protect humpback whales, support researchers and educate the public.
The agency plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register formally withdrawing its proposal.