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Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument facts for kids

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Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Red Fish at Papahānaumokuākea.jpg
Hawaiian squirrelfish at French Frigate Shoals, Papahānaumokuākea
Location Hawaii / Midway Atoll, United States Minor Outlying Islands
Nearest city Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Area 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2)
Established June 15, 2006
Governing body National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources
Type: Mixed
Criteria: iii, vi, viii, ix, x
Designated: 2010
Reference #: 1326
State Party:  United States
Region: Europe and North America

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is a World Heritage site. It is often called Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. The site covers 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of ocean waters that includes ten islands and atolls. The size is larger than the country of Greece.

The area was made a national monument by U.S. President George W. Bush on June 15, 2006. It became a World Heritage site on July 30, 2010.

Papahānaumokuākea supports 7,000 species. One quarter of the species are endemic.


Masked boobys

The monument supports 7,000 species, one quarter of which are endemic. Prominent species include the endangered hawksbill sea turtle, the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the Laysan and Nihoa finches, the Nihoa millerbird, Laysan duck, seabirds such as the Laysan albatross, numerous species of plants including Pritchardia palms, and many species of arthropods. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, populations of lobster have not recovered from extensive harvesting in the 1980s and 1990s, which is now banned; the remaining fisheries are overfished.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) reports that many species populations have not yet fully recovered from a large-scale shift in the oceanic ecosystem that affected the North Pacific during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This shift reduced populations of important species such as spiny lobster, seabirds and Hawaiian monk seals. Commercial fishing ended in 2011. The monument receives strict conservation protection, with exceptions for traditional Native Hawaiian uses and limited tourism.

The monument covers roughly 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2) of reefs, atolls and shallow and deep sea (out to 200 miles (320 km) offshore) in the Pacific Ocean – larger than all of America's National Parks combined. It contains approximately 10 percent of the tropical shallow water coral reef habitat (i.e., 0 to 100 fathoms) in U.S. territory. It is slightly larger than Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, approximately the size of the country of Germany, and just slightly smaller than Montana.

The islands included in the monument are all part of the State of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is part of The United States Minor Outlying Islands insular area. Henderson Field, on Midway Atoll, provides aerial access to the monument.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Monumento nacional marino de Papahānaumokuākea para niños

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