Four Co-Trustees

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is administered jointly by four co-trustees – the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the State of Hawai'i, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. According to Proclamation 8031, which established the Monument, management responsibilities are portioned out as follows:

NOAA logo

The Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has primary responsibility regarding the management of the marine areas of the Monument, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service logo

The Secretary of the Interior, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), has sole responsibility for the areas of the Monument that overlay the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the Battle of Midway National Memorial, and the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce.

State of Hawaii'i logo

The State of Hawaiʻi, through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), has primary responsibility for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine Refuge and State Seabird Sanctuary at Kure Atoll. Nothing in the Proclamation diminishes or enlarges the jurisdiction of the State of Hawaiʻi.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs logo

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a constitutionally established body set as a separate state entity independent of the executive branch of the State of Hawaiʻi, is responsible for representing the interests of the Native Hawaiian community pertaining to activities in the monument, including Native Hawaiian customary and traditional rights and practices exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes under the Hawaiʻi Constitution.

On December 8, 2006, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, and Hawaiʻi Governor Linda Lingle, which provides for coordinated administration of all the Federal and State lands and waters within the boundaries of the Monument. The MOA established the institutional arrangements for managing the Monument, including representation of Native Hawaiian interests by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on the Monument Management Board.

The Co-Trustees are committed to preserving the ecological integrity of the Monument and perpetuation of the NWHI ecosystems, Native Hawaiian culture and other historic resources.

Senior Executive Board

A Senior Executive Board – composed of a senior-level designee from the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, and the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources – provides policy guidance to their respective agency staff assigned to carry out Monument management activities.

Seven Co-Managers

Graphic of PMNM
Management Structure

Monument Management Plan

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Management Plan was finalized in 2008. The management plan is comprehensive and represents the planning processes of three distinct agencies. The plan guides the work of the Monument Management Board and its individual agencies for a period of 15 years.

Use the links below to download any or all of the five volumes. A limited number of copies are available on CD and in print. For additional information, please contact the Monument offices by calling 808-725-5800 or emailing

mmp 2008 cover

Additional FWS supporting documents please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region web page:

For an easy to understand summary of the final plan and the responses to public comment on the draft plan, download Ka Palapala Ho‘omaopopo Vol.2 Issue 3 (5MB)

Draft Management Plan

The Draft Monument Management Plan and its associated Environmental Assessment were released for public review and comment on April 23, 2008. An initial 75-day review period was provided, during which nine public meetings in Hawai‘i and one in Washington, D.C. were held. Upon request, the comment period was extended to 90 days, ending on July 23, 2008. More than 6,400 comments were received from across the Nation.

  • Volume I (The Draft Plan - 5.4MB)
  • Volume II (Environmental Assessment - 3 MB)
  • Volume III (Appendices & Supporting Documents - 11 MB)
  • Volume IV (Appendices & Supporting Documents - 25 MB)