NORTHWESTERN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS (KHNL) - Its one of the world's last wild places. The northwestern hawaiian islands were declared a marine national monument in june 2006, but they waited until today to be named.
"Today, I'm delighted to announce, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands will be named the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, said First Lady Laura Bush.
Government agencies worked with native Hawaiian elders to decide on the name. It symbolizes Hawaii's ancestry.
"I especially welcome it into the consciousness of the lower half of the archipelago, so that it will always be there, said Aunty Pua Kanahele. "The name will live it will always be on the tongue as a household word so we never forget it again.
"I like the name because its really comes from an old story from oral traditions so it keeps the integrity of the cultural heritage of the place and it's a very powerful and spiritual name, said Native Hawaiian Program Coordinator Kekuewa Kikiloi.
Laura bush visited the northwestern Hawaiian island and says this special place will not be forgotten.
"It really is an expression by us as a people now about leaving something for future generations where we can show them what its like, in the world, when you don't take something," said Peter Young, Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
"Man is an afterthought up there and your part of this much larger natural ecosystem," said Andy Collins, Northwestern Hawaiian Marine National Monument.
Governor Linda Lingle says the next step for the marine monument is to seek a world heritage designation from the United Nations.