Papahānaumokuākea Gallery Opens at Maui Ocean Center


Papahānaumokuakea gallery

On May 30, 2017, Maui Ocean Center unveiled the Papahānaumokuākea Gallery, a new exhibit that offers a glimpse into the world’s largest Marine National Monument.

The Papahānaumokuākea Gallery pays homage to Hawaiian heritage while portraying the scope and importance of the Monument. The Gallery includes a walk-around topographic map, the story behind its name, and a photo collection of marine life, seabirds, and newly discovered species. The Gallery celebrates the alliance between cultural, community, and scientific leaders that are working together to protect the Monument’s boundaries.

Papahanaumokuakea galleryThe creation of the Gallery was a collaborative effort between Maui Ocean Center, Sol Kaho‘ohalahala (Native Hawaiian Kupuna representative for the Reserve Advisory Council of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument), The Pew Charitable Trusts, NOAA, and County of Maui.

Papahānaumokuakea gallery
Tapani Vuori, Seth Horstmeyer, Sol Kaho’ohalahala, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Chris Masterson, Kahu Dane Maxwell, and David Mehrer.

The opening ceremony of the Papahānaumokuākea Gallery included a blessing by Kahu Dane Maxwell and an appearance by Mayor Alan Arakawa. The Papahānaumokuākea Gallery is officially open to Aquarium guests and is located at the end of the Open Ocean tunnel.

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The creation of the Papahānaumokuākea Gallery coincides with President Trump’s signing of Executive Orders to review the national monuments created under the Antiquities Act, an action that could reduce Papahānaumokuākea and other Pacific monuments.


As part of the review, a comment period was opened to the public on May 11th and will end on July 10th. The Papahānaumokuākea Gallery includes a station for visitors to submit statements regarding the future of the Pacific monuments.



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