Monday, May 12, 2008  
General FAQ

What is the difference between an atoll and an island?
An atoll is a ring of coral that has grown up over the top of an island as it slowly erodes and sinks into the ocean. Islands are made through geologic processes, like volcanism in the case of Hawaii.
How can I visit the NWHI?
In the spring of 2002, ecotourism trips to Midway were stopped but the USFWS is trying to restart them. Until that happens, there is no public access to any of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Why did people leave Nihoa and Mokumanamana (Necker)?
No one is sure. Life on both of those islands was definitely difficult. There is very little fresh water making agriculture very hard. Perhaps those islands were only visited for short periods and not permanent settlements - maybe they were used only for religious purposes or as a camp site while people hunted fish and turtles to bring back to the Main Hawaiian Islands.