Barack Obama is (probably) the only president in history to bodysurf. And there’s video evidence to prove it. As the first POTUS to hail from Hawaii, Obama cultivated his early career amid the 50th state’s sheer natural beauty and, of course, the ocean. As the first POTUS to hail from Hawaii, Obama cultivated his early career amid the 50th state’s sheer natural beauty and, of course, the ocean.
That upbringing and an increased focus on ecological preservation in his second term likely led the president to his latest move in the Pacific Ocean.
But not everyone is happy. Longline fishermen are against the expansion of protected areas as it will hinder their business. With Hawaii consuming three times more seafood than the mainland, the industry and market for fresh-caught fish is huge. And according to National Geographic, Obama’s safeguard expansion will account for an estimated 10 percent loss in Hawaii’s annual fishery catch.
Obama, on the other hand, is motivated by another issue, one removed from decreased fishing zones. The area contains some of the world’s northernmost and strongest coral reefs, which are some of the most feasible to survive an ocean warmed by climate change – something the president has taken a strong position against in his dwindling days in office.
“No nation, not even one as powerful as the United States, is immune from a changing climate,” Obama said in a speech. “This is a hallowed site, and it deserves to be treated that way.”
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