The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM)—encompassing Wake, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls; Kingman Reef; and Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands—is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world and is especially unique because of its remote and widespread distribution across the central Pacific Ocean. Understanding the historical and cultural value of the PRIMNM is a priority focus for monument managers developing the PRIMNM management plan and also helps engage the global audience with this expansive seascape. To that end, we conducted archival and literary research to shape a deeper understanding of how people interacted and connected with each atoll, reef, and island of the PRIMNM before the onset of World War II.
From this research, we developed an online interactive Story Map that will take you on a journey into the collective heritage of this unique marine protected area. This project was supported by a NOAA grant awarded to Kupu Hawai‘i and would not have been possible without the support from the Pacific Marine National Monument Program and the dedicated efforts of Hawai‘i’s librarians and archivists.
To tell the saga of the PRIMNM in this Story Map, we collected archival sources and historical accounts from the Hawaiʻi State Archives, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Archives, Hamilton Library at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and online archival and newspaper databases. We are putting together a report based on this exhaustive research, which will highlight the PRIMNM’s global heritage and include individual histories for each island and atoll, some of which are not in the aforementioned Story Map. The report will also include a comprehensive bibliographic reference that may be used as a tool to better inform monument managers, stakeholders, researchers, educators, and the public. This project will ultimately provide opportunities for deeper exploration and collaborative projects that highlight the biocultural connectivity of the PRIMNM.
View the Early Cultural and Historical Seascape of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument report