Baker Island is an uninhabited atoll located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean about 3,090 km (1,920 mi) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbor is Howland Island, 42 mi (68 km) to the north-northwest; both have been claimed as territories of the United States since 1857, though the United Kingdom considered them part of the British Empire between 1897 and 1936.
The island covers 2.1 km2 (0.81 sq mi), with 4.8 km (3.0 mi) of coastline. The climate is equatorial, with little rainfall, constant wind, and strong sunshine. The terrain is low-lying and sandy: a coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef with a depressed central area devoid of a lagoon with its highest point being 8 m (26 ft) above sea level.
The island now forms the Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge and is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the U.S. which vouches for its defense. It is visited annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For statistical purposes, Baker is grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Baker Island and Howland Island are also the last pieces of land that experience the New Year (earliest time zone - UTC−12:00).
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aerial view of Baker Island
Location of Baker Island in the Pacific Ocean
|Area||1.4 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|Length||1.81 km (1.125 mi)|
|Width||1.13 km (0.702 mi)|
|Coastline||4.8 km (2.98 mi)|
|Highest elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
A cemetery and rubble from earlier settlements are located near the middle of the west coast, where the boat landing area is located. There are no ports or harbors, with anchorage prohibited offshore. The narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard, so there is a day beacon near the old village site. Baker's abandoned World War II runway, 5,463 ft (1,665 m) long, is completely covered with vegetation and is unserviceable.
During a 1935–1942 colonization attempt, the island was most likely on Hawaii time, which was then 10.5 hours behind UTC. Since it is uninhabited the island's time zone is unspecified, but it lies within a nautical time zone 12 hours behind UTC (UTC−12:00).
Baker was discovered in 1818 by Captain Elisha Folger of the Nantucket whaling ship Equator, who called the island "New Nantucket". In August 1825 Baker was sighted by Captain Obed Starbuck of the Loper, also a Nantucket whaler. The island is named for Michael Baker, who visited the island in 1834. Other references state that he visited in 1832, and again on August 14, 1839, in the whaler Gideon Howland, to bury an American seaman. Captain Baker claimed the island in 1855, then he sold his interest to a group who later formed the American Guano Company.
The United States took possession of the island in 1857, claiming it under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Its guano deposits were mined by the American Guano Company from 1859 to 1878. As an example of the scale of the guano mining and its destination the following ship movements were reported in late 1868.
On February 27, 1869 the British ship Shaftsbury under Captain John Davies, which had arrived at Baker's Island on 5th February from Montevideo, was wrecked after being driven onto the reef by a sudden wind shift and squall from the northwest, dragging her moorings with her. American ship Robin Hood was destroyed by fire while loading on 30th August 1869.
Settlers erected makeshift campsites on Baker Island during the American Equatorial Islands Colonization Project.
On 7 December 1886, the American Guano Company sold all its rights to the British firm John T. Arundel and Company, which made the island its headquarters for guano digging operations in the Pacific from 1886 to 1891. Arundel applied in 1897 to the British Colonial Office for a licence to work the island on the presumption that the U.S. had abandoned their claim. The United Kingdom then considered Baker Island to be a British territory, although they never formally annexed it. The United States raised the question at the beginning of the 1920s and after some diplomatic exchanges, they launched in 1935 the American Equatorial Islands Colonization Project and issued on May 1936 Executive Order 7358 to clarify their sovereignty.
This short-lived attempt at colonization, via the American Equatorial Islands Colonization Project, began when American colonists arrived aboard the USCGC Itasca, the same vessel that brought colonists to neighboring Howland Island, on April 3, 1935. They built a lighthouse and substantial dwellings, and they attempted to grow various plants. The settlement was named Meyerton, after Captain H.A. Meyer of the United States Army, who helped establish the camps in 1935. One sad-looking clump of coconut palms was jokingly called King-Doyle Park after two well-known citizens of Hawaii who visited on the Taney in 1938. This clump was the best on the island, planted near a water seep, but the dry climate and seabirds, eager for anything upon which to perch, did not give the trees or shrubs much of a chance to survive. King-Doyle Park was later adopted as a geographic name by the United States Geological Survey. Its population was four American civilians, all of whom were evacuated in 1942 after Japanese air and naval attacks. During World War II it was occupied by the U.S. military.
|Baker Island Light|
Baker Island Light
|Year first constructed||1935|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower, no lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower|
|Tower height||5 meters (16 ft)|
On August 11, 1943, a US Army defense force arrived on Baker Island as part of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign. In September 1943 a 5,463-foot (1,665 m) airfield was opened and was subsequently used as a staging base by Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberator bombers for attacks on Mili Atoll. The 45th Fighter Squadron operating P-40 fighters operated from the airfield from September 1 - November 27, 1943. By January 1, 1944 the airfield was abandoned.
Baker has no natural fresh water sources. It is treeless, with sparse vegetation consisting of four kinds of grass, prostrate vines and low-growing shrubs. The island is primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.
Several varieties of shorebirds and other species inhabit the island and nearby waters, some considered endangered. The ruddy turnstone, bar-tailed godwit, sanderling and Pacific golden plover are considered species of least concern. The bristle-thighed curlew is considered vulnerable on the national conservation priority scheme. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles, both critically endangered, can be found along the reef.
On June 27, 1974, Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton created Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge which was expanded in 2009 to add submerged lands within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of the island. The refuge now includes 531 acres (215 ha) of land and 410,184 acres (165,996 ha) of water. Baker, along with six other islands, was administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In January 2009, that entity was redesignated the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument by President George W. Bush.
Environmental challenges include abandoned military debris from World War II and illegal fishing offshore. Invasive exotics introduced by human activity, including cockroaches and coconut palms, have also displaced native wildlife. Feral cats, first introduced in 1937, were eradicated in 1965.
Public entry to the island is only by special use permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and it is generally restricted to scientists and educators. Representatives from the agency visit the island on average once every two years, usually coordinating transportation with a NOAA vessel.
Debris from past human occupation is scattered throughout the island and in offshore waters. Most is from the U.S. military occupation of the island from 1942 to 1946. The most noticeable remnant is the 5,400-by-150-foot (1,646 by 46 m) airstrip. It is completely overgrown with vegetation and unusable. In the northeast section, apparently the main camp area, are the remains of several buildings and heavy equipment. Five wooden antenna poles about 40 feet (12 m) in height remain standing in the camp. Debris from several crashed airplanes and large equipment such as bulldozers is scattered around the island. Numerous bulldozer excavations containing the remnants of metal, fuel and water drums are scattered about the north central portion and northern edge of the island. The Navy reported the loss of 11 landing craft in the surf during World War II.
Thursday, July 1,  ... Howland Island was using the 10+30 hour time zone—the same as Hawaii standard time.
Baker Island is an island in the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska, United States. It lies off the central west coast of Prince of Wales Island. Its closest significant island neighbors are Noyes Island to its northwest, Lulu Island directly to its north, and Suemez Island across Bucareli Bay to its southeast. The smaller San Juan Bautista Island and St. Ignace Island separate it from Prince of Wales Island and its nearest community, Craig. The island has a land area of 44.44 square miles (115.1 km2) and is uninhabited.
The first European to sight the island was Aleksei Chirikov in 1741. It was named by William Healy Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1879 after Marcus Baker (1849–1903).Baker Island (Maine)
Baker Island is an island located in Maine marking the southwestern entrance to Frenchman Bay, about four miles (2.5 km) south of Mt. Desert Island. It is one of the five islands in the Town of Cranberry Isles, Maine.
The island is not inhabited year round. There are only three property owners on the island, two of which are private residences, with the balance of the island (well over 75% of the total land) belonging to the National Park Service.
Baker Island Light sits in the center of the island. The station began in 1828 on the order of John Quincy Adams to warn of the shoals around the Cranberry Isles and the sand bar running between Baker Island and Little Cranberry Island. The current tower was built in 1855 and automated in 1966. The lighthouse is a historic site listed in the National Register of Historic Places.Baker Island (Pennsylvania)
Baker Island is a 66.9-acre (271,000 m2) alluvial island in the upper Allegheny River. It is located in Tionesta Township and Harmony Township in Forest County, Pennsylvania, and is part of the Allegheny Islands Wilderness in Allegheny National Forest.
Most of the trees on Baker Island were destroyed by a 1985 tornado.Baker Island Light
Baker Island Light is a lighthouse on Baker Island, Maine, which is part of Acadia National Park. The light station was established in 1828 as a guide to the southern entrance to Frenchman Bay. The present tower was built in 1855; the well-preserved tower, keeper's house, and associated outbuildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.Broughton Archipelago
The Broughton Archipelago is a group of islands on the northeastern flank of the Queen Charlotte Strait on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The largest islands in the group, which includes numerous smaller islets, are Broughton Island, North Broughton Island, Eden Island, Bonwick Island and Baker Island. The islands are all located within the Regional District of Mount Waddington; however, nearly all lands in the area are owned by the Provincial Crown and most settlements in the area, with the exclusion of floating settlements, are either Indian Reserves of bands of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council or fish farms under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The archipelago is the traditional territory of the Kwicksutaineuk-ah-kwa-mish and Tsawataineuk subgroups of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples and is the focus of controversy over commercial fish-farming by Norwegian aquaculture companies. One of the most prominent studies carried out to assess the relationship between fish farms and sea lice infestations on wild species was carried out in this archipelago in the spring of 2002.
Broughton Archipelago was named in 1792 by George Vancouver in honor of William Robert Broughton, the captain of the expedition's second ship, HMS Chatham.Howland Island
Howland Island () is an uninhabited coral island located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean, about 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia and is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States. Together with Baker Island it forms part of the Phoenix Islands. For statistical purposes, Howland is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. It covers 1,112 acres (4.50 km2), with 4 miles (6.4 km) of coastline. The island has an elongated banana-shape on a north–south axis.
Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of the entire island and the surrounding 32,074 acres (129.80 km2) of submerged land. The island is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an insular area under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
The atoll has no economic activity. It is perhaps best known as the island Amelia Earhart was searching for but never reached when her airplane disappeared on July 2, 1937, during her planned round-the-world flight. Airstrips constructed to accommodate her planned stopover were subsequently damaged, were not maintained and gradually disappeared. There are no harbors or docks. The fringing reefs may pose a maritime hazard. There is a boat landing area along the middle of the sandy beach on the west coast, as well as a crumbling day beacon. The island is visited every two years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Kingfisher (clipper)
Kingfisher was an 1853 extreme clipper that sailed on the San Francisco route. She was one of the longest lived clipper ships, with a sailing life of 36 years and 5 months.Line Islands
The Line Islands, Teraina Islands or Equatorial Islands, is a chain of atolls (with partially or fully enclosed lagoons) and coral islands (with a surrounding reef). Kingman Reef is largely submerged and Filippo Reef is shown on some maps, although its existence is doubted. The islands were formed by volcanic activity and are located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of the Hawaiian Islands. The 11 islands stretch for 2,350 kilometres (1,460 miles) in a northwest–southeast direction, making it one of the longest island chains of the world. Eight of the islands form part of Kiribati, while the remaining three (Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island and Jarvis Island) are United States territories grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Only Kiritimati and Tabuaeran atolls and Teraina Island have a permanent population.
The International Date Line passes through the Line Islands. The Line Islands that are part of Kiribati are in the world's farthest forward time zone, UTC+14:00. The time of day is the same as in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi, but the date is one day ahead. The time is 1 day and 2 hours ahead of some other islands in Oceania like Baker Island, which uses UTC−12:00.List of butterflies of Kiribati
This is a list of butterflies of Kiribati. This list includes species found on the US islands Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island and Kingman Reef.Outline of Oceania
The following outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to Oceania.
Oceania is a geographical, and geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term is also sometimes used to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate Pacific islands.The boundaries of Oceania are defined in a number of ways. Most definitions include parts of Australasia such as Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and parts of Maritime Southeast Asia. Ethnologically, the islands of Oceania are divided into the subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument is a group of unorganized, mostly unincorporated United States Pacific Island territories managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. These remote refuges are "the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country's jurisdiction". They protect many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.Phoenix Islands
The Phoenix Islands or Rawaki are a group of eight atolls and two submerged coral reefs, lying in the central Pacific Ocean east of the Gilbert Islands and west of the Line Islands. They are a part of the Republic of Kiribati. During the late 1930s, they became the site of the last attempted colonial expansion of the British Empire through the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, established in 2008, is one of the world's largest protected areas, and home to some 120 species of coral and more than 500 species of fish.
The group is uninhabited except for a few families on Kanton. The United States unincorporated territories of Baker Island and Howland Island are often considered northerly outliers of the group, in the geographical sense. Howland and Baker are statistically grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands, however. The United States previously claimed all the Phoenix Islands under the Guano Islands Act. The Treaty of Tarawa released all US claims to the Phoenix Islands, excluding Baker and Howland.
At various times, the islands were considered part of the Gilbert group (once also known as Kingsmill). The name Phoenix for this group of islands seems to have been settled on in the 1840s, after an island of that name within the group. Phoenix Island was probably named after one of the many whaleships of that name plying these waters in the early 19th century.Scouting in Hawaii
Scouting in Hawaii began in the 1900s. It serves thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.Solar eclipse of January 4, 1992
An annular solar eclipse occurred on January 4–5, 1992. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring). An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. Annularity was visible in the Federal States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Baker Island, Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, and southwestern California, including the southwestern part of Los Angeles.
The duration of annularity at maximum eclipse (closest to but slightly shorter than the longest duration) was 11 minutes, 40.9 seconds in the Pacific. It was the longest annular solar eclipse until January 2, 3062, but the solar eclipse of December 24, 1973 lasted longer.Sutton Island
Sutton Island, in Hancock County, Maine, is a small, private island south of Mount Desert Island, and north of Cranberry Isles, Maine. Its dimensions are roughly 2.1 km on its east–west axis by 1.1 km north to south.
The island is one of the five Cranberry Isles; the others are Great Cranberry Island, Ilesford (also known as Little Cranberry Island), Baker Island, and Bear Island. The island has only a summertime population. Sutton island is the second smallest of the Cranberry Islands, and is close to Northeast Harbor.Territories of the United States
Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions overseen by the federal government. They differ from U.S. states and Native American tribes, which have limited sovereignty. The territories are classified by incorporation and whether they have an "organized" government through an organic act passed by Congress.The U.S. currently has sixteen territories in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Five (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are permanently-inhabited, unincorporated territories; the other nine are small islands, atolls and reefs with no native (or permanent) population. Of the eleven, only one is classified as an incorporated territory. Two territories (Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank) are defacto administered by Colombia. Territories were created to administer newly-acquired land, and most eventually attained statehood. Others, such as the Philippines, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau, later became independent.
Many organized incorporated territories of the United States existed from 1789 to 1959. The first were the Northwest and Southwest territories, and the last were the Alaska and Hawaii Territories. Thirty-one territories (or parts of territories) became states. In the process, some less-developed or -populous areas of a territory were orphaned from it after a statehood referendum. When a portion of the Missouri Territory became the state of Missouri, the remainder of the territory (the present-day states of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, most of Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana, and parts of Colorado and Minnesota) became an unorganized territory.Territorial telecommunications and other infrastructure is generally inferior to that of the U.S. mainland, and American Samoa's Internet speed was found to be slower than several Eastern European countries. Poverty rates are higher in the territories than in the states.United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
The United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (in case citations, D. Haw.) is the principal trial court of the United States Federal Court System in the state of Hawaii. The court's territorial jurisdiction encompasses the state of Hawaii and the territories of Midway Atoll, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, and Jarvis Island. It is located at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building in downtown Honolulu, fronting the Aloha Tower and Honolulu Harbor. The court hears both civil and criminal cases as a court of law and equity. A branch of the district court is the United States Bankruptcy Court which also has chambers in the federal building. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has appellate jurisdiction over cases coming out of the District of Hawaii (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit). The United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii represents the United States in all civil and criminal cases within her district. The current United States Attorney is Kenji M. Price since January 5, 2018.United States Minor Outlying Islands
The United States Minor Outlying Islands are a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 code. The entry code is ISO 3166-2:UM. The minor outlying islands and groups of islands consist of eight United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean (Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island) and one in the Caribbean Sea (Navassa Island).
The United States has a related territorial dispute with Colombia over administration of the Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank. These islands are not included in the ISO designation.
|Marine National Monuments|
|National Wildlife Refuges|
|The Nature Conservancy|