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French Frigate Shoals Expedition

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Join a unique research expedition to one of the healthiest and least disturbed coral atolls in the world, French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. On October 8th, 2006 the NOAA ship Oscar Elton Sette departs Honolulu with the mission of collecting and identifying many of the small plants and animals that live in and around this remote reef environment. French Frigate Shoals is one of the atolls in the newly created Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument.

The monument has nearly 140,000 square miles of fully protected marine habitats, and overlays two national wildlife refuges, the Battle of Midway National Memorial, a State of Hawaii marine refuge, and a state wildlife sanctuary. World renown taxonomists with specializations in algae, invertebrates and microbes will be on the ship, and they bring an unprecedented expertise in collecting and identifying organisms in these lesser understood taxonomic groups for the region. The expedition is being coordinated by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Coral Reef Ecosystem Division and is part of the Census of Coral Reefs (CReefs), one of 17 projects under the larger Census of Marine Life.

*All images and information from French Frigate Shoals are provided courtesy of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands State Marine Refuge, and NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in accordance with permit numbers NWHIMNM-2006-015, 2006-01, 2006-017, and DLNR.NWHI06R021 and associated ammendments.

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