Marine National Monument Program

Marine National Monument Program

Rose Atoll Marine National Monument

Establishment: In January 2009, the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument was established, by Presidential Proclamation, approximately 130 nautical miles east-southeast of Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa. Rose Atoll is the easternmost Samoan island and the southernmost point of the United States.

Size: The Monument area consists of approximately 13,436 square miles (34,800 square kilometers) and the outer boundary is approximately 50 nautical miles from the mean low water line of Rose Atoll.

Management: The Monument is cooperatively managed by the Secretary of Commerce (NOAA), the Secretary of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) in cooperation with the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Government of American Samoa. The Monument also encompasses the Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and is part of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Click here to view the Proclamation.

Unique Features: Rose Atoll remains one of the most pristine atolls in the world. The marine environment around Rose Atoll supports a dynamic reef ecosystem that is home to a diverse assemblage of marine species, many of which are threatened or endangered. One of the most striking features of Rose Atoll is the pink hue of fringing reef caused by the dominance of coralline algae, which is the primary reef-building species. Though there are roughly 100 species of stony corals, the shallow reefs are dominated by crustose coralline algae, making them distinctive from those found in other Samoan islands. The marine area provides isolated, undisturbed nesting grounds for green and hawksbill turtles and contains the largest number of nesting turtles in American Samoa. The waters within and surrounding the Rose Atoll Monument are frequented by numerous large predators such as whitetip, blacktip, and gray reef sharks, snappers, jacks, groupers, and barracudas. Species that have faced depletion elsewhere, some of which have declined worldwide by as much as 98 percent, are found in abundance at Rose Atoll, including giant clams, Maori wrasse, large parrotfishes, and blacktip, whitetip, and gray reef sharks. Humpback whales, pilot whales, and porpoise have all been spotted at Rose Atoll. There are 272 species of reef fish living within the monument area, with seven species described for the first time by scientists at Rose. Few relatively undisturbed islands remain in the world and Rose Atoll is one of the last remaining refuges for the seabird and turtle species of the Central Pacific.

For more information:

National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Rose Atoll Marine National Monument

American Samoa Government