Video/image: Keolohilani Lopes/NOAA

Scientific, cultural and maritime research are important parts of the overall operations of the Monument. The Monument's coral reef research program focuses on habitat characterization and monitoring. Reef surveys have recorded the diversity and abundance of fishes, algae, corals, other reef invertebrates, and alien species at numerous locations throughout the archipelago. Historic resources, such as shipwrecks, have also been documented on shallow reefs by Monument and National Marine Sanctuary Pacific Region archaeologists. Research in deeper offshore waters has utilized multibeam sonar and submersibles to document rarely seen biological resources and topographical features contained within Monument waters. The results of these shallow- and deep-water research efforts will aid in the creation of management plans for the largest coral reef system in the United States and the largest contiguous marine protected area in the world.