Walk softly, stranger.
The land on which you stand is Holy ground ...
a place of unspoiled beauty, colored by the hand of God.
And you who stand upon this land will someday too
remember sun-washed sands and quiet days, and
moments crystallized in time.
Walk softly, stranger,
for you stand on Holy ground.
[A testimonial to the beauty of Northwestern Hawaiian Islands left by a Coast Guardsman on East Island, French Frigate Shoals, as published in Yamase, State-Federal Jurisdictional Conflict over the Internal Waters and Submerged Lands of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, 4 U. Haw. L. Rev. 139 (1982).
The federal government is considering the expansion of the existing Papahanaumakuakea Marine National Monument from its existing boundaries seaward to the boundaries of the Exclusive Economic Zone.
The federal government has struggled for over a hundred years with the management and protection of the resources of these islands. The Yamase article above is the most concise analysis, albeit dated now, of a cross-jurisdictional argument between the federal government and the State of Hawaii regarding who can enforce what on these islands. The Burns and Nixon administrations came close to an agreement.
Broadly speaking, there are different statutory mechanisms to create governance regions in the ocean. Marine Sanctuaries can be created under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.; the State of Hawaii can, subject to federal navigational servitude, act within its waters to create marine protected areas, like Hanauma Bay. Finally, like President T. Roosevelt,President George W. Bush, the Antiquities Act gives the President the power to designate marine monuments.
The governance impact of the creation of a sanctuary, a state preserve or a monument all depend on the authority imbued in the creating authority and it is important to note that each statute gives the approving authority powers, i.e. express powers and rule-making powers.
President Theodore Roosevelt himself added to the mix when he signed Executive Order 1019 which for decades formed the demarcation of jurisdiction between the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce. [Mariner's Note to Executive Order Signers - if you say the 100 fathom curve or say 12 nautical miles from land, it makes it easier to enforce].
[Image courtesy of: U.S. Department of the Interior - From Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture, 1911, Google Books scan, on page 156., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10630075]
As to the Walk Softly poem, that appears to originate from Coast Guardsman Harry Emmett Finch who was stationed at a Coast Guard LORAN station on French Frigate Shoals.