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Midway Atoll

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Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll is a 2.4-square-mile (6.2-km²) atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, about a third of the way between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan. Uniquely among the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes UTC-11 (also known as Samoa Time), eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time and one hour behind the state of Hawaiʻi. Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, and the former home of the Midway Naval Air Station (former ICAO PMDY). It is less than 140 nautical miles (259 km; 161 mi) east of the International Date Line, about 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km; 3,200 mi) west of San Francisco, and 2,200 nautical miles (4,100 km; 2,500 mi) east of Tokyo. It consists of a ring-shaped barrier reef and several sand islets. The two significant pieces of land, Sand Island and Eastern Island, are habitat for millions of seabirds. The island sizes are shown here: According to other sources, Sand Island measures 1,250 acres (5.1 km) in area and the lagoon within the fringing rim of coral reef 9,900 acres (4,000 ha). The atoll, which has a small population (approximately 60 in 2009, but no indigenous inhabitants), is designated an insular area under the authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 590,991.50 acres (239,165.77 ha) of land and water (mostly water) in the surrounding area, is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The visitor program reopened in January 2008 and there are facilities for visitors. Travel to the Atoll is possible through organized tour companies or as a FWS volunteer. The tours focus on the ecology of Midway and the military history. The economy is derived solely from governmental sources and tourist fees. All food and manufactured goods are imported. The refuge and most of its surrounding area are part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Midway, as its name suggests, lies nearly halfway between North America and Asia, and almost halfway around the world from Greenwich, England. For statistical purposes, Midway is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Midway was the focus point of the Battle of Midway, one of the most important naval battles of the Pacific Campaign in World War II, fought on June 4–6, 1942. Nearby the islands, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against the Midway Islands, marking a turning-point in the war in the Pacific Theater.


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