Kingman Reef facts for kids

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Kingman Reef
Kingman Reef NWR. Photo credit- Susan White-USFWS (12198955306).jpg
Southeast part of Kingman Reef, looking north
Geography
Location Oceania
Coordinates 6°23′N 162°25′W / 6.383°N 162.417°W / 6.383; -162.417Coordinates: 6°23′N 162°25′W / 6.383°N 162.417°W / 6.383; -162.417
Area 76 km2 (29 sq mi)
Length 18 km (11 mi)
Width 9 km (5.6 mi)
Country

Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular-shaped reef, 9.5 nautical miles (18 kilometers) east-west and 5 nmi (9 km) north-south, located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa. It is the northernmost of the Northern Line Islands and lies 36 nautical miles (67 km) northwest of the next closest island (Palmyra Atoll), and 930 nautical miles (1,720 km) south of Honolulu.

Kingman Reef was discovered by the American Captain Edmund Fanning of the ship Betsey on June 14, 1798. Captain W. E. Kingman (whose name the island bears) described it on November 29, 1853. Kingman Reef was claimed in 1860 by the United States Guano Company, under the name "Danger Reef". This claim was made under by the Guano Islands Act of 1856 although there is no evidence that guano existed or was ever mined on Kingman Reef.

The reef encloses a lagoon up to 270 feet (82 m) deep. The total area within the outer rim of the reef is 29 sq mi (75 km2). There are two small strips of dry land composed of coral rubble and giant clam shells on the eastern rim. The highest point on the reef is less than 5 feet (1.5 m) above sea level, which is wet or awash most of the time, making Kingman Reef a maritime hazard. It has no natural resources and supports no economic activity.

Kingman Reef has the status of an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered from Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of Interior. The atoll is closed to the public. For statistical purposes, Kingman Reef is grouped as part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. In January 2009, Kingman Reef was designated a marine national monument.

Along with six other islands, the reef was administered as part of the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In January 2009, that entity was upgraded to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument by President George W. Bush.

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