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Permitting Criteria

The Monument permitting criteria is set forth in Proclamation 8031 and Monument Regulations at 50 CFR Part 404.11. Monument findings and review criteria must be met by all applicants ensuring that their proposed activities are consistent with Proclamation 8031 and the goals of the Monument (see Monument Management Plan). The Monument Management Board may require applicants to submit additional information, comply with special conditions, or undergo additional training.

To issue a permit, the applicant must provide information to demonstrate the following:

  • The activity can be conducted with adequate safeguards for the resources and ecological integrity of the Monument;
  • The activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the purposes of the Proclamation, considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity may diminish or enhance Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity, any indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of the activity, and the duration of such effects;
  • There is no practicable alternative to conducting the activity within the Monument;
  • The end value of the activity outweighs its adverse impacts on Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity;
  • The duration of the activity is no longer than necessary to achieve its stated purpose;
  • The applicant is qualified to conduct and complete the activity and mitigate any potential impacts resulting from its conduct;
  • The applicant has adequate financial resources available to conduct and complete the activity and mitigate any potential impacts resulting from its conduct;
  • The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are appropriate to achieve the proposed activity's goals in relation to their impacts to Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity;
  • The applicant's vessel has been outfitted with a mobile transceiver unit approved by NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and complies with the requirements of 50 CFR Part 404.5; and
  • There are no other factors that would make the issuance of a permit for the activity inappropriate.

Additional findings are required for Native Hawaiian Practices, Special Ocean Use, and Recreation permit applications. See Monument Regulations 50 CFR Part 404 for more information.

Permitting Conditions

In addition to the requirement that each permit applicant meet the permit criteria defined above, applicants must agree to the General Conditions of their respective permit as well as any Special Conditions that may apply. Special Permit Conditions are incorporated into each Monument permit as deemed appropriate by the Monument Management Board to achieve effective conservation and management of PMNM. For example, Special Ocean Use permittees requesting to conduct film and/or photography activities within the Monument must abide by Special Conditions for Film/Photography Activities.

Before entering the Monument, all permitted personnel will attend a pre-access briefing to include information on permit specifications and the cultural significance of the Monument. To learn about the cultural heritage of Papahānaumokuākea, watch this video.

Monument Requirements and Best Management Practices

For detailed information on requirements that must be fulfilled based on permitted location(s), activities and if entering aboard a vessel, please click here.

For a complete list of all current Monument best management practices and policies, click here.