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French Frigate Shoals reef health survey

January 1, 2002

French Frigate Shoals (FFS) is one of the refugia comprising the Northwest Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWHINWR). French Frigate Shoals was discovered by La Perouse in the late 18th century; however, the atoll was most notable as a naval air station during World War II when the US Navy dredged Tern Island into an airstrip, and the US Coast guard established a LORAN station on East Island. After the war, the LORAN station was moved to Tern Island where it remained until the Coast Guard vacated in 1979. Since then, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has managed Tern Island-FFS as a wildlife refuge with a full time staff presence (USFWS, 2001).

French Frigate Shoals consists of a large (31 nm) fringing reef partially enclosing a lagoon. A basalt pinnacle (La Perouse Pinnacle) arises approximately halfway between the two ends of the arcs of the fringing reefs. Tern Island is situated at the northern end of the lagoon and is surrounded by a dredged ship channel. The lagoon becomes progressively shallower from west to east and harbors a variety of marine life including corals, fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles (Amerson 1971). In 2000, an interagency survey of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands was done to document the fauna and flora in FFS (Maragos and Gulko, 2002). During that survey, 38 stations were examined, and 41 species of stony corals were documented, the most of any of the NW Hawaiian islands (Maragos and Gulko 2002). In some of these stations, corals with abnormalities were observed. The present study aimed to expand on the 2000 survey to evaluate the lesions in areas where they were documented.

Publication Year 2002
Title French Frigate Shoals reef health survey
Authors Thierry M. Work, Steve L. Coles, Robert Rameyer
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Index ID 70173991
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center