Rose Atoll Marine National Monument

Establishment: Rose Atoll Marine National Monument (RAMNM) was established by Presidential Proclamation 8337 in January 2009. Located approximately 130 nautical miles east-southeast of Pago Pago Harbor, the Monument encompasses Rose Atoll and its surrounding marine environment. Rose Atoll is the easternmost Samoan island and the southernmost point of the United States.

Size: The Monument area consists of approximately 13,451 square miles (34,837 km2).

Science: The RAMNM Ecosystem Science Plan (in development) will provide an overview of the existing scientific knowledge of the RAMNM. The plan provides a framework approach for research, monitoring, and exploration associated with the RAMNM. It develops a mechanism that fosters cross-disciplinary research, linking biological, physical, and human characteristics of the RAMNM. The RAMNM Ecosystem Science Plan will aim to provide a framework for collecting "best available science" to support management of the RAMNM.

Recent Research

  • Bottomfish - From March 4 - April 13, 2016 the Life History Program scientists conducted bottomfish research in the Samoan Archipelago. The primary objective of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Life History Program is to provide the basic biological and ecological information of subsistence, recreationally and commercially valuable species for stock assessment and management purposes. The more we know about a species' life history (age structure, growth rates, morality rates, size- and age-at-sexual maturity), the more accurate are the estimates of stock status (i.e. number of fish in a local population) which, in turn, can lead to more appropriate management for sustainable fisheries. Click here to read more...
  • Coral Reefs - From February 17 - March 30, 2015, Coral Reef Ecosystem Program scientists conducted ecosystem surveys of fishes, benthic and coral communities, and microbes, along with the deployment of oceanographic instruments and biological installations around Tutuila, Aunuʻu, Ofu-Olosega, Swains, and Taʻu Islands, and Rose Atoll. Click here to read more...
  • Sea Turtles - From November 25 - December 1, 2015, PIFSC Scientists, Shawn Murakawa and Frank Parrish monitored green turtle nesting activity at Rose Atoll, American Samoa. They also deployed 11 satellite transmitters on nesters, conducted health assessments of the turtles, and collected tissue samples for analysis. They worked with collaborators Mark MacDonald, Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources and Carlo Caruso and Ricky Misaʻalefua, National Park Service who provided outstanding logistical and scientific support. Working with these partners increased the amount of work accomplished and allowed vital training and transfer of expertise between the staff. This research project has documented that green turtles leaving the nesting grounds of Rose Atoll migrate to foraging areas in Fiji, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Average migration time is 39 days and the researchers expect all tagged turtles to have completed this year's migrations by mid-February. Click here to read more...

For more information on our research partners, please see: