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