Statewide Story Ideas
Hawaii's National Marine Sanctuaries
Considered part of the Pacific Islands Region by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Hawaii is home to two of the region’s National Marine Sanctuaries. While thoughts of Hawaii conjure up visions of beautiful beaches, palm trees, outrigger canoes and surfers, there is another less explored world beneath the waves where fascinating creatures swim through light-starved deep tropical waters as well as across stunning coral reefs.
- Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument – stretches the length of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and is the largest protected area in the United States. The monument preserves one of the most untouched areas of coral reef in the world. There are ways in which one can get involved with the monument’s efforts, such as volunteering at the Mokupapapa Discover Center in Hilo on Hawaii Island or assisting in close-captioning videos for the monument. For more information, visit Sanctuaries.NOAA.Gov/About/Pacific.HTML.
- Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary – ranges from north to south across the eight main Hawaiian Islands, and is dedicated to the protection of the endangered humpback whales and their habitat through education, research and rescue. The sanctuary relies on the help of volunteers and offers a variety of opportunities around the state. A fun and interesting way to help during the months of January, February and March during peak whale season is to participate in the Sanctuary Ocean Count project, which offers the community a chance to monitor whales from the shores of Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu. For more information, visit Sanctuaries.NOAA.Gov/About/Pacific.HTML.