Ho'okele Staff | Jun 22, 2012
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii
More than 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu lie the lands and waters of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and the Battle of Midway National Memorial.
The population of the Midway Atoll more than doubled June 4 when the 60 people who live and work on the island were greeted by 72 people arriving by plane for a special ceremony honoring the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
Twelve years ago Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt designated the national memorial “so that the heroic courage and sacrifice of those who fought against overwhelming odds to win an incredible victory will never be forgotten.” This is the first National Memorial to be designated on a National Wildlife Refuge.
Historically known for the battle that was the crucial World War II turning point in the Pacific, Midway Atoll is now famously known for its wildlife population. Midway hosts the world’s largest population of albatross. Approximately 72 percent of the entire population of Laysan albatross worldwide nest on the island atoll.
Nearly three million seabirds can be found all over the island, on roadways, sidewalks, beaches and grasslands.
In addition to seabirds, there are many species of coral and fish found at Midway as well as threatened green turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Midway is part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and is one of the oldest atoll systems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, originating as a volcano approximately 27 million years ago.
Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States and is the only atoll/island in the Hawaiian archipelago that is not part of the State of Hawaii. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the American people and has international significance for both its historic and natural resources.
Category: Life & Leisure