satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is this place a Refuge, a Memorial or a Monument?

It's all three...and more!

(1) REFUGE -- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
In 1903 President Teddy Roosevelt placed the Atoll under the U.S. Navy's control.  The Navy stopped the poaching of bird feathers and eggs.  Beginning in the 1940's during World War II Midway Atoll was operated as a Naval Air Facility.  In 1998 the Atoll was transferred away from the Navy and became the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.  The birds were really protected now!  

(2) MEMORIAL --  Battle of Midway National Memorial
On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawai`i.  The attack caused the U.S. to join World War II against Japan.  Six months later the U.S. fought and won the Battle of Midway.  That victory turned the tide and finally resulted in victory by the United States and its Allies over Japan in 1945.  In 2000 Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was also designated as the Battle of Midway National Memorial.

(3) MONUMENT -- Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
On June 15, 2006 President Bush proclaimed what came to be called the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  The Monument map shows that PMNM includes all the islands, including Midway Atoll, stretching northwest beyond the state of Hawai`i.  The PMNM virtual visit says, if the Monument "...were laid atop the continental United States, [it] would cover a distance equal to that between New York City and Omaha, or Boston and the Florida Everglades." Please listen to these mp3 recordings about the Hawaiian meaning and proper Hawaiian pronunciation for Papahānaumokuākea.

(4) World Heritage Center?
As of today, July 17, 2010, we're waiting to hear if the wildlife of Midway Atoll will get even one more level of protection, by becoming a United Nations World Heritage Center.  Stay tuned!
[Update!! -- Read FOAM's July 30th post: "This place is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE!!"]

(5) Pihemanu
FOAM has been calling this land mass "Midway Atoll," but many people think the ancient Hawaiians called it Pihemanu, meaning "the loud din [noise] of birds."  Good name!  Listen to the "pihemanu" in FOAM's July 19th post.

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