Palmyra, a low-lying, 12 sq.km. atoll in the Pacific Remote Island Area (PRIA), is a member of the Line Islands and is centered around 55.3'N, 162.05'W. Its lush vegetation and fresh water table makes it unique among the PRIA islands. Although Palmyra was unhabited at the time of its discovery by Western sailors and lacks archaeological remains, Polynesians probably visited it periodically over many centuries to harvest fish and wildlife. The lack of human habitation allowed Palmyra's coral reefs to remain completely pristine until the early 20th century. Even today it lies beyond the influence of urban centers, associated pollutants and major shipping lanes. In 1856, Palmyra was claimed by the U.S. under the Guano Act. During World War II, the U.S. constructed a military base on Palmyra, dredging out a harbor in the the atoll's lagoon and building a causeway across the lagoon which limited the natural circulation within the lagoon. A National Wildlife Refuge administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, limited catch-and-release sport fishing and fishing for local consumption are allowed. Palmyra is under the joint jurisdiction of the Departments of Interior and Commerce and The Nature Conservancy. Ocean currents transport and distribute larvae among and between different atolls and islands, and particularly in the Pacific equatorial region, define sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and available nutrient regimes. The North Equatorial Current (NEC), Equatorial Counter Current (ECC), Equatorial Undercurrent or Cromwell Current (EUC), and South Equatorial Current (SEC) provide the mechanism by which many species are distributed among the PRIAs, nearby central Pacific islands, the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), as well as other distant regions.
Cruises CoRIS Metadata Record Names
Resource Description: Digital video images that are geo-referenced to navigation files.