Photo by Cat Holloway

Through our ongoing scientific expeditions, we continue to document the biological wonders of the Phoenix Islands. Meanwhile, our conservation policy work helps ensure that these irreplaceable ecosystems will be preserved for generations to come.

Scientific Expeditions

To date, we have led four diving expeditions to the waters of the Phoenix Islands. A fifth expedition is in the planning phase for 2011. We are working to include manned submersibles to explore the deep sea surrounding the Phoenix Islands. All of these atolls are the tops of ancient seamounts, which provide a diverse deep-sea habitat for exploration.

Phoenix Islands Expedition Blog

Nearly one year after the Phoenix Islands Protected Area was created, Aquarium researchers return to this amazing coral ecosystem to explore and study biodiversity. Read more...


Conservation Policy

We played an active role in the initial development of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Now, in cooperation with the Government of Kiribati and Conservation International, we are working to develop effective management and enforcement policies. The Protected Area will be financed through an endowment system that compensates the government for its lost fishing license revenues. This market-based conservation policy will protect the Phoenix Islands’ environment and culture.

Results and Successes

To date, we have led four diving expeditions to the waters of the Phoenix Islands. We discovered new species of marine life and added vast information on the biodiversity of the region. Perhaps most important, these expeditions have successfully documented ecologically healthy regions of the ocean that resemble pre-human or pre-exploitation conditions. These expeditions were featured in a World of Water film and in the February 2004 issue of National Geographic magazine, and provided essential information necessary to the creation of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.