Kuaihelani (Midway Atoll) Friends!
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Supporting ecological restoration and preserving historic and cultural significance
June 2023 News From Papahānaumokuākea!
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge lies within one of the most expansive and culturally immersed Marine Protected Areas on Earth known as Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a World Heritage Site encompassing 583,000 square miles of ocean water including islands and atolls of the Northwestern Islands.
Snapshots of the human history of Kuaihelani (Midway Atoll)
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Battle of Midway National Memorial is part of the much larger ecosystem immersed in an extraordinary cultural sea and landscape within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Atoll’s Hawaiian name is Kuaihelani meaning the “backbone of the heavens.” Before the recent discovery of Kuaihelani it was given the place name Pihemanu meaning “a loud din of birds.” Kuaihelani is a magical place of stunning natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and monumental history — a place to be cared for (mālama) and preserved into perpetuity. It’s also home to a small community of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff, volunteers, and contractors. Click the images below to explore different aspects of life on this special atoll.