The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will remain in its current form.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had proposed broadening the sanctuary to include a larger area and the protection of other species.
But after a lengthy process including public hearings and discussions with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, NOAA has decided to withdraw its proposal.
Allen Tom is the Regional Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case raised concerns that an expanded sanctuary would extend federal jurisdiction over Hawaiian waters.
She says the department will continue to work with NOAA to protect humpback whales and other protected marine species.