Journey to Jarvis Island
Besides Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, there many other isolated islands, atolls and reefs in the Pacific under American jurisdiction. Many of these were incorporated into the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument by President George W. Bush in 2009. Although not administered by the National Park Service, these federal parklands exist to preserve and protect some of the most fragile ecological areas under the American flag. Over the next few day, we are going to focus on these special places. Enjoy!
Located 1,305 nautical miles south of Honolulu, Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1974 by the Secretary of the Interior. It was expanded in 2009 and includes submerged lands out to 12 nautical miles from the island. The refuge includes 429,853 acres, of which 1,273 acres are terrestrial and 428,580 acres are submerged.
Shallow fringing reefs surround the island, but a broad submerged reef terrace extends off the eastern shoreline, dominated by moosehorn and rose corals. Live coral covers about 50 percent of the reef terrace, and about 62 species of corals, including 59 stony species, have been reported at Jarvis through 2006. Table and staghorn corals are rare but increasing.
The island is uninhabited, and entry is by permit only. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel visit Jarvis about every 2 to 3 years, though occasionally scientists and researchers team up to share high transportation costs to the island. Jarvis is accessible only by ship.