‘America’s Galapagos’ could be protected

The remote 1,400-mile long string of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are blanketed with the 14 million seabirds that nest there. Beneath the surface of the surrounding waters, fish crowd into pristine coral reefs.

The islands are home to about 7,000 species of birds, fish and marine mammals, a quarter of which are unique to Hawaii.

While the islands have been protected for nearly a century as a refuge, the surrounding reefs are entering a critical year for their protection.