Welcome to Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge
The first recorded western contact at Kingman Reef was by an American seaman, Captain Fanning, in 1798. The reef was named after Captain Kingman, who visited in 1853. The United States annexed the reef in 1922 and in 1934 delegated jurisdiction to the Navy. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station and anchorage for Pan American Flying Clippers on Hawai‘i to American Samoa flights and for U.S. warships during the 1930s before a channel and dock were constructed at Palmyra.
On September 1, 2000, the Department of the Interior accepted restoration of its administrative jurisdiction over Kingman Reef from the Department of the Navy; Secretary’s Order 3223 signed January 18, 2001, established Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge.
On January 6, 2009, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument was established, which includes Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge within its boundaries. For more information, please visit the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument website.