Two enormous marine protected areas -- Isla Pinguino Coastal Marine Park and Makenke Coastal Marine Park—were recently established in Patagonia by the country's National Congress, the Wildlife Conservation Society, based in New York, reported Wednesday.
Covering 80 miles and extending 12 miles out to sea, Isla Pinguino covers nearly 720 square miles of ocean and coastline, home to large populations of South American sea lions, cormorants, and one of the only colonies of rockhopper penguins on the coast of Patagonia.
Farther south, the Makenke Coastal Marine Park will over wildlife protection over 230 square miles of shore and ocean.
"We commend the National Congress in Argentina for passing laws to create these new marine parks, which will protect the country's natural heritage given what will likely be an increase in development along the coast in years to come," Julie Kunen, Director for WCS's Latin America and Caribbean Program, said.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]