Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian: Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.

The U.S. state of Hawaii now occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety (including the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands), with the sole exception of Midway Island, which instead separately belongs to the United States as one of its unincorporated territories within the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.[1]

Hawaiian Islands
Native name:
Mokupuni o Hawai‘i
Hawaiianislandchain USGS
LocationNorth Pacific Ocean
Total islands137
Highest point
United States
Largest settlementHonolulu

Islands and reefs

Captain James Cook visited the islands on January 18, 1778,[2] and named them the "Sandwich Islands" in honor of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was one of his sponsors as the First Lord of the Admiralty.[3] This name was in use until the 1840s, when the local name "Hawaii" gradually began to take precedence.[4]

The Hawaiian Islands have a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles (16,636.5 km2). Except for Midway, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, these islands and islets are administered as Hawaii—the 50th state of the United States.[5]

Main islands

The eight main islands of Hawaii (also called the Hawaiian Windward Islands) are listed here. All except Kahoolawe are inhabited.[6]

Island Nickname Area Population
(as of 2010)
Density Highest point Elevation Age (Ma)[7] Location
Hawaiʻi[8] The Big Island 4,028.0 sq mi (10,432.5 km2) 185,079 45.948/sq mi (17.7407/km2) Mauna Kea 13,796 ft (4,205 m) 0.4 19°34′N 155°30′W / 19.567°N 155.500°W
Maui[9] The Valley Isle 727.2 sq mi (1,883.4 km2) 144,444 198.630/sq mi (76.692/km2) Haleakalā 10,023 ft (3,055 m) 1.3–0.8 20°48′N 156°20′W / 20.800°N 156.333°W
Oʻahu[10] The Gathering Place 596.7 sq mi (1,545.4 km2) 953,207 1,597.46/sq mi (616.78/km2) Mount Kaʻala 4,003 ft (1,220 m) 3.7–2.6 21°28′N 157°59′W / 21.467°N 157.983°W
Kauaʻi[11] The Garden Isle 552.3 sq mi (1,430.5 km2) 66,921 121.168/sq mi (46.783/km2) Kawaikini 5,243 ft (1,598 m) 5.1 22°05′N 159°30′W / 22.083°N 159.500°W
Molokaʻi[12] The Friendly Isle 260.0 sq mi (673.4 km2) 7,345 28.250/sq mi (10.9074/km2) Kamakou 4,961 ft (1,512 m) 1.9–1.8 21°08′N 157°02′W / 21.133°N 157.033°W
Lānaʻi[13] The Pineapple Isle 140.5 sq mi (363.9 km2) 3,135 22.313/sq mi (8.615/km2) Lānaʻihale 3,366 ft (1,026 m) 1.3 20°50′N 156°56′W / 20.833°N 156.933°W
Niʻihau[14] The Forbidden Isle 69.5 sq mi (180.0 km2) 170 2.45/sq mi (0.944/km2) Mount Pānīʻau 1,250 ft (381 m) 4.9 21°54′N 160°10′W / 21.900°N 160.167°W
Kahoʻolawe[15] The Target Isle 44.6 sq mi (115.5 km2) 0 0/sq mi (0/km2) Puʻu Moaulanui 1,483 ft (452 m) 1.0 20°33′N 156°36′W / 20.550°N 156.600°W

Smaller islands, atolls, reefs

ISS-38 Hawaiian Island chain
Hawaiian Islands from space.[16]

Smaller islands, atolls, and reefs (all west of Niʻihau are uninhabited) form the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, or Hawaiian Leeward Islands:


3-D perspective view of the southeastern Hawaiian Islands, with the white summits of Mauna Loa (4,170 m or 13,680 ft high) and Mauna Kea (4,206 m or 13,799 ft high). The islands are the tops of massive volcanoes, the bulk of which lie below the sea surface. Ocean depths are colored from violet (5,750 m or 18,860 ft deep northeast of Maui) and indigo to light gray (shallowest). Historical lava flows are shown in red, erupting from the summits and rift zones of Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Hualalai volcanoes on Hawaiʻi.

The state of Hawaii counts 137 "islands" in the Hawaiian chain.[17] This number includes all minor islands and islets, or very small islands, offshore of the main islands (listed above) and individual islets in each atoll. These are just a few:

NASA Hawaiian Islands full quality
A composite satellite image from NASA of the Hawaiian Islands taken from outer space. Click on the image for a larger view that shows the main islands and the extended archipelago.


This chain of islands, or archipelago, developed as the Pacific Plate moved slowly northwestward over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle at a rate of approximately 32 miles (51 km) per million years. Thus, the southeast island is volcanically active, whereas the islands on the northwest end of the archipelago are older and typically smaller, due to longer exposure to erosion. The age of the archipelago has been estimated using potassium-argon dating methods.[18] From this study and others,[19][20] it is estimated that the northwesternmost island, Kure Atoll, is the oldest at approximately 28 million years (Ma); while the southeasternmost island, Hawaiʻi, is approximately 0.4 Ma (400,000 years). The only active volcanism in the last 200 years has been on the southeastern island, Hawaiʻi, and on the submerged but growing volcano to the extreme southeast, Loʻihi. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the USGS documents recent volcanic activity and provides images and interpretations of the volcanism. Kīlauea has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983.

Almost all of the magma of the hotspot has the composition of basalt, and so the Hawaiian volcanoes are composed almost entirely of this igneous rock. There is very little coarser-grained gabbro and diabase. Nephelinite is exposed on the islands but is extremely rare. The majority of eruptions in Hawaiʻi are Hawaiian-type eruptions because basaltic magma is relatively fluid compared with magmas typically involved in more explosive eruptions, such as the andesitic magmas that produce some of the spectacular and dangerous eruptions around the margins of the Pacific basin.

Hawaii hotspot
Eruptions from the Hawaii hotspot left a trail of underwater mountains across the Pacific over millions of years, called the Emperor Seamounts

Hawaiʻi island (the Big Island) is the biggest and youngest island in the chain, built from five volcanoes. Mauna Loa, taking up over half of the Big Island, is the largest shield volcano on the Earth. The measurement from sea level to summit is more than 2.5 miles (4 km), from sea level to sea floor about 3.1 miles (5 km).[21].


The Hawaiian Islands have many earthquakes, generally caused by volcanic activity. Most of the early earthquake monitoring took place in Hilo, by missionaries Titus Coan, Sarah J. Lyman and her family. From 1833 to 1896, approximately 4 or 5 earthquakes were reported per year.[22]

Hawaii accounted for 7.3% of the United States' reported earthquakes with a magnitude 3.5 or greater from 1974 to 2003, with a total 1533 earthquakes. Hawaii ranked as the state with the third most earthquakes over this time period, after Alaska and California.[23]

On October 15, 2006, there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 off the northwest coast of the island of Hawaii, near the Kona area of the big island. The initial earthquake was followed approximately five minutes later by a magnitude 5.7 aftershock. Minor-to-moderate damage was reported on most of the Big Island. Several major roadways became impassable from rock slides, and effects were felt as far away as Honolulu, Oahu, nearly 150 miles (240 km) from the epicenter. Power outages lasted for several hours to days. Several water mains ruptured. No deaths or life-threatening injuries were reported.

On May 4, 2018 there was a 6.9 earthquake in the zone of volcanic activity from Kīlauea.

Earthquakes are monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory run by the USGS.


Aftermath of the 1960 Chilean tsunami in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, where the tsunami left 61 people dead and 282 seriously injured. The waves reached 35 feet (11 m) high.

The Hawaiian Islands are subject to tsunamis, great waves that strike the shore. Tsunamis are most often caused by earthquakes somewhere in the Pacific. The waves produced by the earthquakes travel at speeds of 400–500 miles per hour (600–800 km/h) and can affect coastal regions thousands of miles (kilometers) away.

Tsunamis may also originate from the Hawaiian Islands. Explosive volcanic activity can cause tsunamis. The island of Molokaʻi had a catastrophic collapse or debris avalanche over a million years ago; this underwater landslide likely caused tsunamis. The Hilina Slump on the island of Hawaiʻi is another potential place for a large landslide and resulting tsunami.

The city of Hilo on the Big Island has been most affected by tsunamis, where the in-rushing water is accentuated by the shape of Hilo Bay. Coastal cities have tsunami warning sirens.

A tsunami resulting from an earthquake in Chile hit the islands on February 27, 2010. It was relatively minor, but local emergency management officials utilized the latest technology and ordered evacuations in preparation for a possible major event. The Governor declared it a "good drill" for the next major event.

A tsunami resulting from an earthquake in Japan hit the islands on March 11, 2011. It was relatively minor, but local officials ordered evacuations in preparation for a possible major event. The tsunami caused about $30.1 million in damages.[24]


The islands are home to many endemic species. Since human settlement, first by Polynesians, non native trees, plants, and animals were introduced. These included species such as rats and pigs, that have preyed on native birds and invertebrates that initially evolved in the absence of such predators. The growing population of humans has also led to deforestation, forest degradation, treeless grasslands, and environmental degradation. As a result, many species which depended on forest habitats and food became extinct--with many current species facing extinction. As humans cleared land for farming, monocultural crop production replaced multi-species systems.

The arrival of the Europeans had a more significant impact, with the promotion of large-scale single-species export agriculture and livestock grazing. This led to increased clearing of forests, and the development of towns, adding many more species to the list of extinct animals of the Hawaiian Islands. As of 2009, many of the remaining endemic species are considered endangered.[25]

National Monument

On June 15, 2006, President George W. Bush issued a public proclamation creating Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Monument encompasses the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding waters, forming the largest[26] marine wildlife reserve in the world. In August 2010, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee added Papahānaumokuākea to its list of World Heritage Sites.[27][28][29] On August 26, 2016, President Barack Obama greatly expanded Papahānaumokuākea, quadrupling it from its original size.[30][31][32]


The climate of the Hawaiian Islands is tropical but it experiences many different climates, depending on altitude and weather.[33] The islands receive most rainfall from the trade winds on their north and east flanks (the windward side) as a result of orographic precipitation.[33] Coastal areas in general and especially the south and west flanks or leeward sides, tend to be drier.[33]

In general, the lowlands of Hawaiian Islands receive most of their precipitation during the winter months (October to April).[33] Drier conditions generally prevail from May to September.[33] The tropical storms, and occasional hurricanes, tend to occur from July through November.[33]

See also


  1. ^ Macdonald, Abbott, and Peterson, 1984
  2. ^ Rayson, Ann; Bauer, Helen (1997). Hawaii: The Pacific State. Bess Press. p. 26. ISBN 1573060968.
  3. ^ James Cook and James King (1784). A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean: Undertaken, by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere, to Determine the Position and Extent of the West Side of North America, Its Distance from Asia, and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe: Performed Under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery, in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. 2. Nicol and Cadell, London. p. 222.
  4. ^ Clement, Russell. "From Cook to the 1840 Constitution: The Name Change from Sandwich to Hawaiian Islands" (PDF). University of Hawai'i at Manoa Hamilton Library. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  5. ^ "Guide to State and Local Census Geography – Hawaii" (PDF). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. 2013-09-09. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  6. ^ "Hawaii Population 2016 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  7. ^ Blay, Chuck, and Siemers, Robert. Kauai‘’s Geologic History: A Simplified Guide. Kaua‘i: TEOK Investigations, 2004. ISBN 9780974472300. (Cited in "Hawaiian Encyclopedia : The Islands". Retrieved June 20, 2012.)
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Island of Hawaiʻi
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Maui Island
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Oʻahu Island
  11. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kauaʻi Island
  12. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Molokaʻi Island
  13. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lānaʻi Island
  14. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Niʻihau Island
  15. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kahoʻolawe Island
  16. ^ "Hawaii : Image of the Day". nasa.gov. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Hawai'i Facts & Figures" (PDF). state web site. State of Hawaii Dept. of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. December 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  18. ^ "Tectonics, geochronology, and origin of the Hawaiian-Emperor Volcanic Chain" (PDF). The Geology of North America, Volume N: The Eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaii. The Geology Society of America. 1989. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  19. ^ McDougall, IAN; Swanson, D. A. (1972). "Potassium-Argon Ages of Lavas from the Hawi and Pololu Volcanic Series, Kohala Volcano, Hawaii". Geological Society of America Bulletin. Geology Society of American Bulletin. 83 (12): 3731–3738. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1972)83[3731:PAOLFT]2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  20. ^ "Petrography and K-Ar Ages of Dredged Volcanic Rocks from the Western Hawaiian Ridge and the Southern Emperor Seamount Chain". 86 (7). Geology Society of America Bulletin. 1975: 991–998. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1975)86. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  21. ^ "Mauna Loa Earth's Largest Volcano". Hawaiian Volcano Observatory web site. USGS. February 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  22. ^ "Hawaii Earthquake History". Earthquake Hazards Program. United States Geological Survey. 1972. Archived from the original on 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  23. ^ "Top Earthquake States". Earthquake Hazards Program. United States Geological Survey. 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-12-09.
  24. ^ Trusdell, Frank A.; Chadderton, Amy; Hinchliffe, Graham; Hara, Andrew; Patenge, Brent; Weber, Tom (2012-11-15). "Tohoku-Oki Earthquake Tsunami Runup and Inundation Data for Sites Around the Island of Hawai'i" (PDF). USGS. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  25. ^ Craig R. Elevitch and Kim M. Wilkinson, eds. (2000). Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands. Permanent Agriculture Resources. ISBN 0-9702544-0-7. Archived from the original on 2006-01-12. Retrieved 2005-09-26.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  26. ^ Barnett, Cynthia (August 26, 2016). "Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas". National Geographic. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  27. ^ "21 sites added to Unesco World Heritage list – Wikinews, the free news source". en.wikinews.org. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  28. ^ Saltzstein, Dan (2010-08-04). "Unesco Adds 21 Sites to World Heritage List". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  29. ^ "World Heritage Committee inscribes a total of 21 new sites on UNESCO World Heritage List". whc.unesco.org. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  30. ^ Cocke, Sophie (2016-08-25). "Obama expands Papahanaumokuakea marine reserve; plans Oahu trip". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  31. ^ "Fact Sheet: President Obama to Create the World's Largest Marine Protected Area". whitehouse.gov. 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  32. ^ Barnett, Cynthia (2016-08-26). "Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas". NationalGeographic.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  33. ^ a b c d e f Lau, Leung-Ku Stephen; Mink, John Francis (2006-10-01). Hydrology of the Hawaiian Islands. pp. 39, 43, 49, 53. ISBN 9780824829483.

Further reading

Coordinates: 21°N 157°W / 21°N 157°W

2012 Hawaiian Islands Invitational

The 2012 Hawaiian Islands Invitational was an inter-confederation association football tournament contested in February at Aloha Stadium, Hawaii between 4 different clubs from the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. It is considered to be the successor to the now-defunct Pan-Pacific Championship.

Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands

The Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands was the jurisdiction of the prelate of the Catholic Church in the Hawaiian Islands, created in 1847 by the Holy See. In 1848, the phrase Sandwich Islands was dropped and replaced by Hawaiian Islands. The first Vicar Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands (and the Hawaiian Islands) was Msgr. Louis Desiré Maigret, SS.CC. The Vicariate derives from the Prefecture Apostolic of the Sandwich Islands, established in 1825 and which was to become in 1833, a part of the larger territory under the ordinary jurisdiction of the Vicar Apostolic of Oriental Oceania entrusted to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Cellana talcosa

Cellana talcosa, the talc limpet or turtle limpet is a species of true limpet, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Nacellidae, which is one of the true limpet families.

This species is endemic to the Hawaiian islands, where its common name is koele or opihi ko'ele. [1] It is the largest limpet found in the Hawaiian islands and can reach 4 inches in diameter.

Channels of the Hawaiian Islands

In an archipelago like the Hawaiian Islands the water between islands is typically called a channel or passage. Described here are the channels between the islands of Hawaiʻi, arranged from southeast to northwest.

French Frigate Shoals

The French Frigate Shoals (Hawaiian: Kānemilohaʻi) is the largest atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Its name commemorates French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse, who nearly lost two frigates when attempting to navigate the shoals. It consists of a 20-mile (32 km) long crescent-shaped reef, twelve sandbars, and the 120-foot (37 m) high La Perouse Pinnacle, the only remnant of its volcanic origins. The total land area of the islets is 61.508 acres (24.891 ha). Total coral reef area of the shoals is over 232,000 acres (94,000 ha). Tern Island, with an area of 26.014 acres (10.527 ha), has a landing strip and permanent habitations for a small number of people. It is maintained as a field station in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The French Frigate Shoals are about 487 nautical miles (902 km; 560 mi) northwest of Honolulu.

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is one of the world's most important whale habitats, hosting thousands of humpbacks (Megaptera novaeangliae) each winter.

Hawaiian Islands Invitational

The Hawaiian Islands Invitational was an inter-confederation association football tournament that was founded in 2007, as the Pan-Pacific Championship. The tournament consisted of four teams, who contested a knock-out style competition that spanned three days.

Hawaiian monk seal

The Hawaiian monk seal, Neomonachus schauinslandi (formerly Monachus schauinslandi), is an endangered species of earless seal in the family Phocidae that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.The Hawaiian monk seal is one of two remaining monk seal species; the other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third species, the Caribbean monk seal, is extinct.The Hawaiian monk seal is the only seal native to Hawaii, and, along with the Hawaiian hoary bat, is one of only two mammals endemic to the islands.These monk seals are a conservation reliant endangered species. The small population of about 1,400 individuals is threatened by human encroachment, very low levels of genetic variation, entanglement in fishing nets, marine debris, disease, and past commercial hunting for skins. There are many methods of conservation biology when it comes to endangered species; translocation, captive care, habitat cleanup, and educating the public about the Hawaiian monk seal are some of the methods that can be employed.

Lisianski Island

Lisianski Island (Hawaiian: Papa‘āpoho) is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with a land area of 384.425 acres (155.571 ha) and a maximum elevation of 40 feet (12 m) above sea level. It is a low, flat sand and coral island about 905 nautical miles (1,676 km) northwest of Honolulu. The island is surrounded by reefs and shoals, including the extensive Neva Shoals. Access to the island is limited by helicopter or by boat to a narrow sandy inlet on the southeastern side of the island.

List of Late Quaternary prehistoric bird species

Late Quaternary prehistoric birds are avian taxa that became extinct during the Late Quaternary – the Holocene or Late Pleistocene – and before recorded history, or more precisely, before they could be studied alive by ornithological science. They became extinct before the period of global scientific exploration that started in the late 15th century. In other words, this list basically deals with extinctions between 40,000 BC and 1500 AD. For the purposes of this article, a "bird" is any member of the clade Neornithes, that is, any descendant of the most recent common ancestor of all currently living birds.

The birds are known from their remains, which are subfossil (not fossilized, or not completely fossilized). Some are also known from folk memory, as in the case of Haast's eagle in New Zealand. As the remains are not completely fossilized, they may yield organic material for molecular analyses to provide additional clues for resolving their taxonomic affiliations.

The extinction of the taxa in this list was coincident with the expansion of Homo sapiens beyond Africa and Eurasia, and in most cases, anthropogenic factors have played a crucial part in their extinction, be it through hunting, introduced predators or habitat alteration. It is notable that a large proportion of the species are from oceanic islands, especially in Polynesia. Bird taxa that evolved on oceanic islands are usually very vulnerable to hunting or predation by rats, cats, dogs or pigs – animals commonly introduced by humans – as they evolved in the absence of mammalian predators, and therefore have only rudimentary predator avoidance behavior. Many, especially rails, have additionally become flightless for the same reason and thus presented even easier prey.

Taxon extinctions taking place before the Late Quaternary happened in the absence of significant human interference. Rather, reasons for extinction are stochastic abiotic events such as bolide impacts, climate changes, mass volcanic eruptions etc. Alternatively, species may have gone extinct due to evolutionary displacement by successor or competitor taxa – it is notable for example that in the early Neogene, seabird biodiversity was much higher than today; this is probably due to competition by the radiation of marine mammals after that time. The relationships of these ancient birds are often hard to determine, as many are known only from very fragmentary remains and complete fossilization precludes analysis of information from DNA, RNA or protein sequencing.

The taxa in this list should be classified with the Wikipedia conservation status category "Prehistoric" in their individual accounts.

List of monarchs of Hawaii

Kamehameha I established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795 after conquering most of the Hawaiian archipelago. In 1810, Kaumualii became a vassal of Kamehameha I, who therefore emerged as the sole sovereign of the island chain of Hawaiʻi. His dynasty lasted until 1872, and his Kingdom lasted until 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani, of the Kalākaua Dynasty, was deposed by the pro-United States led overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The monarchy was officially ended on January 24, 1895, when Liliuokalani formally abdicated in response to an attempt to restore the royal government. On November 23, 1993, the Congress passed Public Law 103-150, also known as the Apology Resolution, acknowledging the American role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. President Bill Clinton signed the joint resolution the same day.

Maro Reef

Maro Reef (Hawaiian: Nalukākala - "surf that arrives in combers") is a largely submerged coral atoll located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It was discovered in 1820 by Captain Joseph Allen of the ship Maro, after whose ship the reef was named. With a total area of 747 square miles (1,935 km2), it is the largest coral reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It contains 37 species of stony coral. Unlike most atolls, the coral extends out from the center like spokes on a wheel. Located about 850 miles (740 nmi; 1,370 km) northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, Maro Reef contains about 1 acre (4,000 m2) of dry land which itself can be submerged depending on the tides. Some scientists believe that it "may be on the verge of drowning" because the reefs are detached and are vulnerable to strong storm waves.USNS Mission San Miguel (T-AO-129) ran aground on the reef, while running at full speed and in ballast, and sank on October 8, 1957.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii

This is a list of properties and historic districts in Hawaii listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 340 listings appear on all but one of Hawaii's main islands (Niihau being the exception) and the Northwestern Islands, and in all of its five counties. Included are houses, schools, archeological sites, ships, shipwrecks and various other types of listings. These properties and districts are listed by island, beginning at the northwestern end of the chain.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted March 22, 2019.

Necker Island (Hawaii)

Necker Island (Hawaiian: Mokumanamana) is a small island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It is located at 23°34′30″N 164°42′01″W in the Pacific Ocean, 155 miles (135 nmi; 249 km) northwest of Nihoa and 8 miles (7.0 nmi; 13 km) north of the Tropic of Cancer. It contains important prehistoric archaeological sites of the Hawaiian culture and is part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument.

The United States Census Bureau reports its land area as 45.193 acres (182,890 m2). The island is rocky with steep sides and has very little soil. Its highest elevation is 277 feet (84 m). The island is named after Jacques Necker, a finance minister of Louis XVI.


Nihoa (; Hawaiian: [niˈhowə]), also known as Bird Island or Moku Manu, is the tallest of ten islands and atolls in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The island is located at the southern end of the NWHI chain, 296 km (160 nmi) southeast of Necker Island. Nihoa is the closest NWHI in proximity to the eight main windward Hawaiian Islands at approximately 240 km (130 nmi) northwest of the island of Kauaʻi. The island has two peaks, 272 m (892 ft) Miller's Peak in the west, and 259 m (850 ft) Tanager Peak in the east. Nihoa's area is about 171 acres (0.69 km2) and is surrounded by a 142,000-acre (57,000 ha) coral reef. Its jagged outline gives the island its name, Nihoa, which means "tooth" in the Hawaiian language.The island is home to 25 species of plants and several animals, making it the most diverse island in the entire NWHI. Endemic birds like the Nihoa finch and Nihoa millerbird, and endemic plants like the Nihoa fan palm, the Nihoa carnation, and Amaranthus brownii are found only on Nihoa. The plant communities and rocky outcrops provide nesting and perching areas for 18 species of seabirds, such as red-footed boobies and brown noddies, terns, shearwaters, and petrels. Prehistoric evidence indicates Native Hawaiians lived on or visited the island around AD 1000, but over time the location of Nihoa was mostly forgotten, with only an oral legend preserving its name. Captain James Colnett rediscovered the island in 1788, and Queen Kaʻahumanu visited it in 1822. It was made part of the Kingdom of Hawaii by King Kamehameha IV.

In 1909, Nihoa became part of the Hawaiian Islands Reservation, a federal wildlife refuge established by U.S president Theodore Roosevelt. The Tanager Expedition surveyed the island in 1923, taking a comprehensive biological inventory of its many species. In 1940, it became part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Wildlife Refuge and in 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its culturally significant archaeological sites. In 2006, it became part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Efforts are underway to ensure that endangered plant species are propagated beyond their limited range and represented in ex situ collections. Persons intending to visit Nihoa for cultural and scientific research purposes require a USFWS-issued special-use permit to land on the island so as to reduce the risk of introducing alien species to Nihoa's already fragile ecosystem.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest (in some cases, far to the northwest) of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Politically, they are all part of Honolulu County in the U.S. state of Hawaii, except Midway Atoll, which is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. The United States Census Bureau defines this area, except Midway, as Census Tract 114.98 of Honolulu County. Its total land area is 3.1075 square miles (8.048 km2). All the islands except Nihoa are north of the Tropic of Cancer, making them the only islands in Hawaii that lie outside the tropics.

The Northwestern or Leeward Hawaiian Islands include:

Nihoa (Moku Manu) at 23°03′38″N 161°55′19″W

Necker (Mokumanamana) at 23°34′N 164°42′W

French Frigate Shoals (Kānemilohaʻi) at 23°52.134′N 166°17.16′W

Gardner Pinnacles (Pūhāhonu) at 25°01′N 167°59′W

Maro Reef (Nalukākala) at 25.415°N 170.590°W / 25.415; -170.590

Laysan (Kauō) at 25.7675°N 171.7334°W / 25.7675; -171.7334

Lisianski (Papaāpoho) at 26.064031°N 173.965802°W / 26.064031; -173.965802

Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Holoikauaua) at 27.927687°N 175.737991°W / 27.927687; -175.737991

Midway (Pihemanu) at 28°12′N 177°21′W - not part of the State of Hawaii

Kure (Mokupāpapa) at 28°25′N 178°20′W

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (roughly ) is a World Heritage listed U.S. National Monument encompassing 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Created in June 2006 with 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2), it was expanded in August 2016 by moving its border to the limit of the exclusive economic zone, making it one of the world's largest protected areas. It is internationally known for its cultural and natural values as follows:

"The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons."

Pearl and Hermes Atoll

The Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Hawaiian: Holoikauaua) is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a group of small islands and atolls that form the farthest northwest portion of the Hawaiian island chain. The atoll consists of a variable number of flat and sandy islets, typically between five and seven. More were noted in historical sources but have since been lost to erosion and rising sea levels.

The atoll is named after the Pearl and the Hermes, a pair of English whaleships that wrecked there in 1822. It has been the site of at least eight known shipwrecks, including the Japanese Wiji Maru, SS Quartette, and most recently the M/V Casitas, which ran aground on the reef in 2005.

The atoll is an important habitat for seabirds, marine life, and invertebrate species. Twenty-two bird species nest and breed on the island, including twenty percent of the world's population of black-footed albatrosses. The atoll has historically been included with the rest of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in conservation efforts. It is included in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, created in 2006.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu

The Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, officially in Latin Dioecesis Honoluluensis, is an ecclesiastical territory or particular church of the Catholic Church in the United States. The diocese comprises the entire state of Hawaiʻi and the unincorporated Hawaiian Islands.

The diocese is suffragan to and a part of the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of San Francisco, which includes the suffragan dioceses of Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton. The patrons of the Diocese of Honolulu are the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Malia O Ka Malu or Our Lady Queen of Peace, Saint Damien of Molokaʻi, and Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi.

The diocese is governed by the Bishop of Honolulu. His canonical seat or cathedra is located at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. With his clergy, the bishop ministers to a culturally diverse population in the following languages: Hawaiian; English; Ilokano; Tagalog; Samoan; Tongan; Japanese; Korean; Spanish; and Vietnamese. It is one of the most diverse and one of the largest dioceses in the United States, in terms of territorial area which spans statewide and includes unpopulated Hawaiian Islands.

 State of Hawaii
Main islands
Sovereignty Movement
Federal district
Insular areas
Outlying islands
Polynesian triangle
Polynesian outliers

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