The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is one of the largest protected areas in the world, created to keep our natural resources safe.

Native Hawaiian leaders are now urging President Barack Obama to use his power to expand its boundaries.

The group met with members of the President's administration this week. Their request would make the monument roughly three-and-a-half times larger than its current size.

Within the past few years, new species have been found in the proposed expansion zone, such as the black coral you see in the video, known now as the oldest animal in the world. Researchers say the area is full of species that can't be found anywhere else on the planet

“What President Obama has in his hands is the future of the world,” said William Aila Jr., founding member of Papahahanaumokuakea.

"Chicago got Obama's presidential library. Hawaii stands to get something much better. This expansion opportunity would be a living underwater library,” said Dr. Douglas McCauley, University of California Santa Barbara.

Not everyone agrees with the expansion. Those against it include long line fishermen who fear catching fish will be harder to come by.

The group who requested the expansion says President Obama could approve it through the Antiquities Act. They hope the President will do so by September when the World Conservation Congress comes to Hawaii.