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Jarvis Island, on the equator will be protected from mining and commercial fishing
President Bush is to create the world's largest marine protection area in a huge swath of the Pacific Ocean. Mining and commercial fishing will be banned in an area measuring 195,000 square miles which includes the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench on the planet. Rose Atoll in American Samoa and seven islands strung along the equator in the central Pacific will also come under the protection plan.
The atolls, reefs and underwater mountains of the designated area are the habitat of hundreds of unique species of birds and fish including the world's largest land crab and the rare Malaysian megapode, a bird that incubates its eggs in the heat of underwater volcanoes.
It also harbours some of the rarest geological formations on earth; the Mariana Trench lies 36,000 feet below sea level - 6.8 miles deep. Its deepest point is deeper than Mt Everest is tall, and it is five times the size of the Grand Canyon.
Rose Atoll, the smallest atoll in the world with only about 20 acres of land, is home to giant 85ft tall trees and is a vital nesting ground for threatened green sea turtles and endangered hawksbill sea turtles.
The protected areas will extend 50 nautical miles off the coral reefs and atolls at the three monuments, which will be officially called the Marianas Marine National Monument, Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, and the Pacific Islands Marine National Monument.