On a quiet morning 76 years ago today, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,100 more wounded. Twenty-one ships of the Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, including the USS Arizona. Shocked and angered by the attack, the country joined the Allied forces to fight World War II, inspired by the call of “Remember Pearl Harbor.” A moving reminder of the service and sacrifice of those who fought, the USS Arizona Memorial is jointly administered by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service. Photo by National Park Service.
Waterfall-draped mountains encircle Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. The winding Hanalei River feeds wetlands that are home to five endangered water birds: the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), the ‘alae‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), the ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), and the nēnē (Hawaiian goose). Photo by J. Waipa, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It’s been a remarkable year for lava activity at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The astounding power of nature can be easy seen at lava lakes, surface flows and the Kamokuna ocean entry, where lava is streaming out into the Pacific, creating huge clouds of gas and steam. The lava entering the ocean is beginning to rebuild a large delta, forming new land. While there’s something mesmerizing about the movement of molten rock, visitors should always pay attention to their surroundings and stay out of closed areas as they explore Kīlauea – the world’s most active volcano. Photo by Janice Wei, National Park Service.
Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge’s dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean is one of the best places in Hawai’i to view wildlife and take in the amazing island scenery. Home to large populations of nesting seabirds, visitors also have a chance to view spinner dolphins, monk seals, lush coastal plants and Hawai‘i’s state bird – the nēnē or endangered Hawaiian goose. Photo courtesy of Andre Raine, Kaua’i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project.
America’s national parks include some of the most cherished natural landscapes and cultural sites in the world. Today is World Heritage Day and we’re recognizing a unique park with a global profile. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places on Earth where visitors can safely get an upclose look at an active volcano. Witness powerful natural forces at work as Kīlauea and Mauna Loa (two of the world’s most active volcanoes) continue to add land to the island of Hawaiʻi. Photo by Janice Wei, National Park Service.