Hawaii stands alone in more ways than one. It is the only U.S. state comprised entirely of islands. There are eight major islands, but the Hawaiian Island Chain consists of more than 80 volcanoes and 132 islands, reefs, and shoals that extend across the Pacific for 1,500 miles (that's the approximate distance from Houston to San Francisco). Located about 2,400 miles from California, the islands are, in fact, the most isolated inhabited pieces of land in the world.
One would expect, then, that protecting Hawaii's natural and cultural resources poses a unique set of challenges. NOAA is working to address these challenges by considering how human activities on land are impacting near-shore systems through the lens of sea level rise and climate change, and fostering practical solutions through its Hawaiian Islands (HI) Sentinel Site Cooperative.