Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary comprises a fringing coral reef ecosystem nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. This smallest and most remote of all the National Marine Sanctuaries.
Nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the southern coast of Tutuila, American Samoa, you’ll find Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A recently released management plan proposes expanding this smallest and most remote of the 14 marine protected areas in the national marine sanctuary system, providing protection for some of the oldest and largest known corals in the world.
Released last week, the comprehensive draft management plan and environmental assessment for Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary proposes the addition of five new reef and offshore areas. The areas include Larsen Bay, the waters around Swains Island and Muliava (also known as Rose Atoll), and some waters around Aunu’u Island and Ta’u Island.
Designated in 1986, Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects the only true tropical coral reef in the sanctuary system. To reflect the expansion of its boundaries, the draft management plan also proposes changing the name of the sanctuary to American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries co-manages the sanctuary with the American Samoa Government. The draft management plan was developed after years of working with local villages, chiefs, territorial programs, and the Governor’s office to ensure that Samoan cultural traditions and practices continue to be honored and protected.
The public is invited to comment on the draft management plan and proposed regulatory changes. Visit the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary website to access a copy of the plan and for information on how to provide input.