Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region

Welcome to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

photo of two Laysan albatross

Midway, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, is one of the world's most spectacular wildlife experiences. Nearly three million birds call it home for much of each year, including the world's largest population of Laysan Albatrosses, or "gooney birds". Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and spinner dolphins frequent Midway's crystal blue lagoon.

Midway became an "overlay" refuge in 1988, while still under the primary jurisdiction of the Navy. With the closure of Naval Air Facility Midway Island in 1993, there began a transition from bullets to birds, a change in mission from national defense to wildlife conservation.

Laysan Aalbatross Pair
Photo credit: Suzanne Canja

Midway is one of the most remote coral atolls on earth. Yet, it is much, much more!

  • the last link in a global telegraph system, inaugurated by a message from President Teddy Roosevelt on the Fourth of July, 1903
  • a landing site for Pan Am Clippers enroute across the Pacific Ocean in the late 1930s
  • the focus of a 1942 battle that changed the tide of war in the Pacific
  • from July 1942 to the end of hostilities, Midway served as a submarine base that aided in bringing the war to a close
  • naval air facility that played a pivotal role in support of the Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War

Midway Visitor Access Status

(February 14, 2013)

Visitation and volunteer opportunities will be extremely limited during 2013.  Only a few visits will occur (under Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Monument) manager’s permit) to accomplish critical work projects directly serving the refuge’s resource management, research, historical and cultural preservation responsibilities.

We truly appreciate your interest.  We recognize the public experience can result in valuable support for extraordinary wildlife and historic resources.  We hope you will consider joining the Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge as a way to support wildlife and habitat management at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge/Battle of Midway National Memorial within the Monument.  

For more information:
Sue Schulmeister, Refuge Manager
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Box 50167
Honolulu, Hawai‘i, 96850
(808) 954-4818
E-mail: sue_schulmeister@fws.gov

Last updated: July 25, 2013