Marine National Monuments
Pacific Region
 
Photo of coral

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to manage, in cooperation with our partners, four marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean.  In total, they include nearly 214,777,000 acres composed of small islands, atolls, coral reefs, submerged lands, and deep blue waters.  All were created since 2006.

Coral - Photo credit James Maragos

The eldest and largest is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, established on June 15, 2006.  It includes some 89,470,000 acres, stretching more than 1,200 miles from Nihoa to Kure Atoll within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.  Distinct geology, biology, and cultural history make Papahānaumokuākea one of the world’s greatest treasures.  The archipelago is home to more than 7,000 marine species, a quarter of which are found nowhere else on Earth, and is the primary habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals, land and sea birds, and plant species.

This Monument is jointly managed by three Co-Trustees – the Department of Commerce (through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Department of the Interior (through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and the State of Hawai‘i (through the Department of Land and Natural Resources) – and represents a cooperative conservation approach to protecting the entire ecosystem.  The agencies also coordinate with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. For more information, please go to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.  

On January 6, 2009, the remaining three marine national monuments were established.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of National Wildlife Refuges manages these areas in consultation with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  having the lead with respect to fishery-related activities.

The Marianas Trench Marine National Monument encompasses nearly 61,100,000 acres and includes three units:  the Mariana Trench itself, site of the deepest point on Earth; an arc of 21 undersea mud volcanoes and thermal vents, home to unusual life forms surviving some of the harshest conditions imaginable; and the waters around the northernmost three islands of the Mariana Archipelago, where the greatest diversity of seamount and hydrothermal vent life yet discovered is found.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  also consult with the Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, and Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in managing this monument.  For more information, please visit our website at www.fws.gov/marianastrenchmarinemonument.

The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument with more than 55,600,000 acres including  and surrounding Howland Island, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, and Wake Atoll National Wildlife Refuges in the central Pacific.  These lands and waters comprise the most widespread collection of coral reef, seabird, and shorebird protected areas on the planet under a single nation’s jurisdiction.  For more information, please go to our website at www.fws.gov/pacificremoteislandsmarinemonument.

The Rose Atoll Marine National Monument covers nearly 8,609,000 acres within American Samoa and is the southernmost point of the United States.  Rose Atoll itself is one of the smallest atolls in the world and features a pink-colored fringing reef caused by the dominance of crustose coralline algae.  It is managed as a National Wildlife Refuge, and NOAA has initiated the process to add the monument’s surrounding marine areas to the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  For more information, please visit our website at www.fws.gov/roseatollmarinemonument.

For more information:
Susan White, Project Leader
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Pacific Reefs NWRC
300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Room 5-231, Box 50167
Honolulu, Hawaii
96850
(808) 792-9560
(808) 792-9586 fax
E-Mail: Pacific_Reefs@fws.gov

 

Last updated: March 30, 2011