Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

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Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial

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  • Aerial view of Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Aerial view of Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Aerial view of Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 590,000 acres and is part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which is part of the greater Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Short-tailed albatross on Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) with juvenile on Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Filmmaker Ian Shive films Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) on Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • A spinner dolphin in the waters of Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ian Shive.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Reef in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service. - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Convict surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus) in the waters of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service. - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Old World War II era gunnary at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service. - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Old World War II era gunnary at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service. - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Military ruins at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service. - Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in the waters of Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) in the waters of Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi) in the waters of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
  • Unidentified species in the waters of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image courtesy of Tandem Stills + Motion and the U.S. Fish + Wildlife Service.- Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge + Battle of Midway National Memorial
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Abundant marine life and wildlife. Beautiful and pristine landscapes. Extremely remote and brimming with cultural and historical significance.
Cons: 
Hard to access, restricted visitation for business-related reasons only.
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Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is a part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument located in the Pacific Ocean 1,150 miles northwest of the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Niihau. Known around the world for both its cultural and natural draws, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is home to extensive coral reefs scattered throughout its many islands and atolls. Over 7,000 marine species call these reefs home, many of which are extremely rare, endangered, or unique to the Hawaiian Archipelago. The region is also home to 14 million seabirds representing 22 different species - including four species of bird found nowhere else in the world. 

The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 590,000 acres, but this is mostly made up of both shallow and deep water as the atoll itself only covers 2.4 square miles. The small atoll is one of eight United States Minor Outlying Islands, while all of the other land masses within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument fall within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and are considered a part of the state of Hawaii. Because of this, Midway observes Samoa Time and is one hour behind the rest of the region. 

While Midway is included in the cultural and natural significance of Papahānaumokuākea, it is best known for playing a large part in American history during World War II, when the U.S. military developed the island of Midway into a naval air station and submarine base. The Battle of Midway, which served as a definitive battle within the Pacific conflict between the U.S. Navy and Japan, occurred in adjacent waters in 1942. Access to the region is by ship or plane only, with air travel flying into the former WWII airfield, Henderson Field, on Midway's westernmost island, Sand Island.

The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS). Currently there are approximately 40 to 60 people who call Midway home, including US FWS employees, contractors, and volunteers. All visitation to the island is granted on a permit basis, but due to budget restrictions and its remote nature, visiting the island is not currently a possibility to tourists. Those interested in learning more about the region and its beauty are recommended to take a virtual tour through US FWS and check out the film, Midway: Edge of Tomorrow (more information below).

Midway: Edge of Tomorrow

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with California-based media company TANDEM Stills + Motion to create a full-length film about the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. The film documents never-before-seen natural wonders in addition to providing a captivating look at the last remaining historic structures from the Battle of Midway. Check out the official film preview below:

Official Preview: Midway 75th Anniversary Commemoration from Tandem Stills + Motion, Inc. on Vimeo.

"Midway: Edge of Tomorrow is a cinematic expedition that honors the island's famous role in the Pacific theater of World War II and extends into the untold story of how this touchstone of battle has evolved into one of the most precious atolls on earth as a wildlife refuge and marine national monument. Midway's geographical significance, once deemed important militarily, now holds an even greater role as a flagship of oceanic conservation." - TANDEM Stills + Motion

Stay tuned for more film release information and future projects from TANDEM!

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