Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Takes Next Step In Designating Pacific Remote Islands As National Marine Sanctuary


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries has taken the next step in the process of designating the Pacific Remote Islands as a national marine sanctuary.

A “Notice of Intent to Conduct Scoping and Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement” was issued today, according to NOAA.

The boundaries of the proposed sanctuary would be as follows:

“The proposed national marine sanctuary would include the marine areas within the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, as well as those currently unprotected submerged lands and waters to the full extent of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, an area totaling about 770,000 square miles. The Pacific Remote Islands encompass Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Wake, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef. The proposed sanctuary would not include terrestrial areas above the mean high tide line.”

NOAA is calling on the public to submit comments on the proposed sanctuary by June 2, 2023.

Proposed Pacific Remote Islands NMS (Image credit: NOAA)
Proposed Pacific Remote Islands NMS (Image credit: NOAA)

Additionally, a series of public meetings — both in-person and virtual — are scheduled for the following dates:

  • May 10, 2023: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • May 11, 2023: Hilo, Hawaii
  • May 17, 2023: Hagatna, Guam
  • May 18, 2023: Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • May 19, 2023: Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • May 20, 2023: Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • May 24, 2023: Pago Pago, American Samoa

For more info on registering for the meetings as well as submitting comments, go to

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.