Located in the Mariana Archipelago east of the Philippines, the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument protects approximately 95,216 square miles of submerged lands and waters. The Mariana Trench is the deepest place on Earth, deeper than the height of Mount Everest above sea level. It is five times longer than the Grand Canyon and includes some 50,532,102 acres that are virtually unknown to humans. The Volcanic Unit – an arc of undersea mud volcanoes and thermal vents – supports unusual life forms in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Here species survive in the midst of hydrothermal vents that produce highly acidic and boiling water. In the Islands Unit, unique reef habitats support marine biological communities dependent on basalt rock foundations, unlike those throughout the remainder of the Pacific.
Monument Management Plan Finalized

The management plan and final environmental assessment for the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument have been released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

The management plan provides the foundation for long-term collaborative management and community stewardship of the monument, where public and stakeholder involvement will be key to achieving the plan’s vision and goals over the next 15 years.

Under the management plan, the Service, NOAA and CNMI will work as a monument management team to engage partners, conserve and protect the marine ecosystem, and establish stewardship, research, exploration, engagement and education programs that further understanding and connect people to the unique ecosystem and its inhabitants.

To view the Monument Management Plan link HERE.

To view the Final Environmental Assessment, link HERE.

To view the Final Planning Update, link here

Location and Contact Information

      Get Involved

      The remote location and isolation of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument make it inaccessible to conduct on-site visits for educational or interpretative purposes. Thus, most educational, and interpretative opportunities are necessarily delivered remotely through publications, off-site educational programs, displays, or other media, to inform and educate the public regarding the coral reef ecosystem and related marine resources and species of the monument and efforts to conserve them. The video “The First Voyage” about the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument showcases the environmental value of the Islands Unit and three northern-most islands of the Marianas and may be available for showing.  For more information on these programs in Saipan, contact Park Ranger Jihan Younis at  (670)234-7207 ext. 4001.  

      Our Partners

      Nature does not recognize human-made boundaries. In order to conserve our natural and cultural resources effectively, we must work with others to bridge these boundaries. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts.  

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration work with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also values its partnership with Mariana Trench Monument Advisory Council. 

      Mariana Trench Monument Advisory Council (MTMAC)

      The Mariana Trench Monument Advisory Council (MTMAC) is an intergovernmental committee established to provide advice on management plans and management of the Monument. MTMAC membership includes three officials of the CNMI Government, one from the Department of Defense, and one from the US Coast Guard who each serve a 3-year term. The MTMAC members advise the USFWS Monument Superintendent and to the NOAA Fisheries Service, Pacific Monuments Program Manager.

      As an intergovernmental committee, the MTMAC is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), in accordance with 41 CFR Part §102-3.40 (g):

      Intergovernmental committees. Any committee composed wholly of full-time or permanent part-time officers or employees of the Federal Government and elected officers of State, local and tribal governments (or their designated employees with authority to act on their behalf), acting in their official capacities. However, the purpose of such a committee must be solely to exchange views, information, or advice relating to the management or implementation of Federal programs established pursuant to statute, that explicitly or inherently share intergovernmental responsibilities or administration.

      MTMAC Members, Term 3

      Representing the CNMI Government:  

      Floyd Masga - Chairman

      Richard Salas - Vice Chair

      Frank Rabauliman

      Representing the U.S. Coast Guard: 

      Maile Norman, District Fourteen Living Marine Resources Specialist

      Representing the Department of Defense: 

      Mark Cruz - Secretary (Appointed by Admiral Huffman)

      Rear Admiral Gregory Huffman, Commander, Joint Region Marianas 

      Meeting Minutes 12/20/23: https://www.fws.gov/media/meeting-notes-mtmac-VIRTUAL-meeting-12-21-23

      Meeting Minutes 03/25/24: https://www.fws.gov/media/meeting-notes-mtmac-virtual-meeting-03-05-24

      Meeting Minutes 04/04/24: https://www.fws.gov/media/meeting-notes-mtmac-virtual-meeting-04-04-24