Site Information

Citizen's Guide to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Issued: September 2006

Learn about the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, its coral reefs and unique features as well as its history and how it will be managed. This 28 page Citizen's Guide is an excellent introduction to the largest fully protected marine protected area on the planet.

Papahānaumokuākea Site brochure

Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage brochure

National Wildlife Refuges of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument brochure

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Battle of Midway brochure

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Known Maritime Heritage Resources Map

Pacific Islands Region Maritime Heritage brochure

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries


Forecasting the Impact of Storm Waves and Sea-Level Rise on Midway Atoll and Laysan Island within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

A Comparison of Passive Versus Dynamic Inundation Models (Open-File Report 2013–1069)

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument 2011 Accomplishments Report

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Maritime Heritage Research, Education, and Management Plan

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Natural Resources Science Plan 2011–2015

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Manager Reports

These reports are intended to share information on the management and conservation of Papahānaumokuākea

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument 2009 Accomplishments Report

Plan to Recover Nation’s Most Endangered Waterfowl Released

A revised plan describing the actions needed to recover the nation’s most endangered waterfowl species - the Laysan duck - was released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This revised recovery plan replaces the original recovery plan published in 1982.

State of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve report

Issued: February 2006, Report Years: 2000–2005

This report provides a summary of progress made toward implementation of the Reserve Operations Plan (ROP) and the activities and accomplishments of NOAA’s Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (reserve). It is a review of the management of the reserve under the National Marine Sanctuaries Amendments Act (P.L. 106-513) and Section 304(e) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1434(e))

Status of the Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States

Report Year: 2005

Excellent summary of the status of coral reefs in the NWHI as well as the rest of the U.S. and Pacific Freely Associated States. The link above will take you to a page where you can download the complete report or only those sections you are interested in.

Finding on the Recommendations of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Regarding the Management of Fisheries within the Proposed NWHI National Marine Sanctuary

Posted: October 26, 2005

Cover letter for findings document above (PDF, 60 KB)
Please visit the web page on fishing regulations and the sanctuary designation process for more background on the documents above.

Management Documents

UNESCO World Heritage 34 COM, Paris, 3 September 2010; Papahānaumokuākea Inscription

Decision: 34 COM 8B.10 (Page 183)

Monument management Plan Update 2 — Ka Palapala Ho‘omaopopo

Issued: February 2008

This second issue outlines the plan’s management framework and approach(including priority management needs), introduces recent changes made in the Monument permit application process, and provides a glimpse of some of the deepwater research occurring in the Monument.

Monument Management Plan Update 1 — Ka Palapala Ho‘omaopopo

The Ka Palapala Ho‘omaopopo (The Informative Letter), is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument's update bulletin! The bulletin is published periodically, with its main goal being to keep the public updated about the development of the Monument Management Plan. Articles about current research, as well as "Good News!" stories are also included.

Related documentation–Scoping Report and Summary. This set of documents summarizes the issues raised during the three public comment periods relating to the management plans for the now Monument, which span a seven year period beginning in 2000. Of the nearly 52,000 comments collected, most supported strong protection for the Monument.

Download Summary
Download Report

Presidential Proclamation 8112

Issued: March 2007

Amending Proclamation 8031 of June 15, 2006, To Read, "Establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument"

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to Promote Coordinated Management of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument

Signed: December 8, 2006

The parties to this agreement are the State of Hawai‘i–through the Department of Land and Natural Resources; The U.S. Department of the Interior–Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the U.S. Department of Commerce–Through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The MOA sets forth the objectives and responsibilities necessary for coordinated management, and establishes the functional relationships that will allow for effective coordinated efforts.

Presidential Proclamation 8031; Establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument

Issued: June 2006

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for promoting coordinated management in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Signing Date: May 19, 2006

The parties included on this agreement are: the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service

Preliminary Draft Management Plan Developed for the Proposed NWHI National Marine Sanctuary

Issued: April 2006

The preliminary draft management plan developed specifically for the proposed national marine sanctuary was provided to the public. This document was provided solely for information purposes, as it was never finalized We were not seeking comments on this version of the plan.

Final Reserve Operations Plan

Issued: March 2005

This document is the final operations plan for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (Reserve). This plan has been prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Sanctuary Program, and will serve as the primary management guide for the Reserve.

Advice and recommendations for development of draft fishing regulations under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act 304(a)(5) for the proposed Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Issued: March 2005

As part of this Sanctuary designation process, pursuant to section 304(a)(5) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC) has an opportunity to draft fishing regulations for the proposed Sanctuary, using guidance provided by the National Marine Sanctuary Program. The formation of this guidance took place from August 2003 to August 2004. The process incorporated multiple stages from consulting with stakeholders, and conducting research, alternatives analysis, to seeking the advice and recommendations of the Reserve Advisory Council. Download the guidance document (PDF, 4 MB).

Please note that there are 8 large (11" x 17") maps in the pdf document and in order to print the document correctly you will need to set the Page Scaling Option under the Print menu in Acrobat to "Shrink Large Pages"

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and United States Coast Guard Joint Position Statement on Enforcement of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve

Executive Order 13178; Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve

Issued: December 7, 2000

This is Executive Order 13178, establishing the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, as published in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 13196; Amendment to Executive Order 13178

Issued: January 23, 2001

This is Executive Order 13196, amending Executive Order 13178, as published in the Federal Register.

Consolidation of Executive Orders 13178 / 13196

This document incorporates amendments to Executive Order 13178 as described in Executive Order 13196.

Overview of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Preservation Areas.

This document provides a brief description of specific protection in each of the Reserve Preservation Areas.

Detailed descriptions and maps of the Reserve Preservation Areas.

"The Banks" (PDF, 852K)
French Frigate Shoals (PDF, 208K)
Gardner Pinnacles (PDF, 40K)
Kure Atoll (PDF, 36K)
Laysan Island (PDF, 180K)
Lisianski Island (PDF, 36K)
Maro Reef (PDF, 196K)
Necker Island (PDF, 40K)
Nihoa Island (PDF, 40K)
Pearl & Hermes Atoll (PDF, 184K)

Executive Order 13178

On December 4, 2000, Executive Order 13178 established the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve (Reserve). The Reserve encompasses marine waters and submerged lands of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands extending approximately 1200 nautical miles long and 100 nautical miles wide.

A 30 day comment period was held to receive comments on the Reserve and the Executive Order. During the 30-day comment period, NOAA, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, received the public comments and held seven public hearings on behalf of the White House to accept written and oral comments.

Approximately 8,400 public comments were received.

Transcripts of each public hearing held during the 30 day comment period in 2000.

O‘ahu - December 11
Kona - December 11
Hilo - December 12
Kaua‘i - December 13
Washington, D.C. - December 13
Maui - December 14
Moloka‘i - December 15

Summary of changes made to Executive Order 13178

On January 18, 2001, the process and establishment of the Reserve was finalized by issuance of Executive Order 13196. This Executive Order modified Executive Order 13178 by revising certain conservation measures and making permanent the Reserve Preservation Areas with modifications. With this action, the establishment of the Reserve, including the conservation measures and permanent Reserve Preservation Areas, is complete.

Public Visioning Sessions

On May 26, 2000 the President announced his intention to provide "strong and lasting protection for the coral reef ecosystem of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands." He directed the Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and Commerce, working cooperatively with the State of Hawaii and consulting with the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council, to develop recommendations within 90 days for a new, coordinated management regime to increase protection of the ecosystem and provide for sustainable use. The Departments were also directed to conduct "visioning" sessions, which would provide opportunities for public hearing comment to help shape the final recommendations. During July and August of 2000 seven public visioning sessions were conducted.