French Frigate Shoals is home to abundant wildlife and one of the most significant coral reef systems in the monument. Left: before Hurricane Walaka. Right: after Hurricane Walaka

NOAA and partner scientists recently completed a 22-day expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. While conducting research dives, they came upon devastating reef destruction from Hurricane Walaka at French Frigate Shoals, and an invasive alga overgrowing native corals and other algae at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Before and after photos show rubble not recognizable as the former coral reef. The diverse fish communities that make the reef their home are also gone. 

Staff are now working to understand and respond to these impacts to the monument. Thank you for supporting the critical work of scientists and conservationists to protect this special place. 

Make A Donation

Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument

by National Marine Sanctuary Foundation


French Frigate Shoals is home to abundant wildlife and one of the most significant coral reef systems in the monument. Left: before Hurricane Walaka. Right: after Hurricane Walaka

NOAA and partner scientists recently completed a 22-day expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. While conducting research dives, they came upon devastating reef destruction from Hurricane Walaka at French Frigate Shoals, and an invasive alga overgrowing native corals and other algae at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Before and after photos show rubble not recognizable as the former coral reef. The diverse fish communities that make the reef their home are also gone. 

Staff are now working to understand and respond to these impacts to the monument. Thank you for supporting the critical work of scientists and conservationists to protect this special place.