Earl Hinz  Midway Island

"The wildlife has been protected for years and many species will approach a sensitive traveler just out of curiosity."

Historic Midway Atoll made famous during World War II in the June 1942 Battle of Midway is now open to the public for guided tours. The Naval Air Facility which operated here for over 55 years was decommissioned in June 1997 and the entire atoll turned over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to maintain as a National Wildlife Refuge. The Midway Islands are 1200 miles northwest of Hawaii and, although geologically part of the Hawaiian chain, they are not part of the state of Hawaii.

The USFWS has contracted with a private company, Midway Phoenix Corporation, to provide access and management for public visits to the islands. The contractor provides airplane service from Lihue, Kauai, and guests are put up in refurbished barracks and fed at a dining hall left from Navy operating days.

  Part of the tour fees paid by visitors is used to preserve, manage and expand the wildlife habitat. Ecological and historic tours may be arranged as well as participatory research programs. Tag and release sport fishing plus scuba diving can be joined. All activities are supervised in order to preserve the overall wildlife habitat.

  Midway is an incredible wildlife experience as it is the home of the world's largest colony of Laysan albatross (the comical gooney bird) along with many other sea and shore birds. The endangered monk seal lives here and is often found basking in the sun on the beaches. Green sea turtles and spinner dolphins swim in the lagoon. The wildlife has been protected for years and many species will approach a sensitive traveler just out of curiosity. Opportunities abound for up-close and personal contacts with wildlife in this refuge.


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