Resources: Papahānaumokuākea Fact Sheet

  • Spanning a distance of 1,200 mi (1931 km) Papahānaumokuākea is one of the largest World Heritage Sites and one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world, as well as the largest conservation area in the United States

  • Covering an area of nearly 140,000 square miles (362,000 square km) of remote ocean wilderness the Monument represents approximately 12% of all protected seas worldwide

  • One of only 11 designated Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) by the
    International Maritime Organization

  • Papahānaumokuākea’s inscription furthers multiple global targets in marine
    conservation set by:

    • The World Heritage Marine Programme Strategy for the promotion of
      large‐scale marine conservation
    • The World Parks Congress for the creation of a global system of MPA networks by 2012, including “strictly protected areas” for 20‐30% of each habitat
    • The UN Convention of Biological Diversity for increasing conservation
      of 10% of all marine and coastal ecological regions in MPAs by 2012
  • A sacred region in the history, culture and cosmology of Native Hawaiian people and home to the highest concentration of ritual sites in Hawai‘i

  • Papahānaumokuākea is the first site ever inscribed that highlights living,
    indigenous cultural connections to the sea

  • As one of the last predator dominated coral reef ecosystems on the planet, manō (sharks) and ‘ulua (jacks) dominate the underwater landscape, a feature characteristic of reefs prior to significant human exploitation

  • The near pristine remote reefs, islands and waters of Papahänuamokuäkea provide refuge to a wide array of threatened and endangered species, including the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the Laysan Duck and the threatened Hawaiian green turtle among others

  • The region is the largest tropical seabird rookery in the world with over 14 million seabirds using the Monument as their nesting and foraging grounds