Papahanaumokuakea, United States

The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean. Apart from the deep cultural significance the site has for living Hawai'ians, it's important for its pelagic and deepwater habitats, which contain special features such as seamounts, submerged banks, and extensive coral reefs and lagoons, providing safe habitat for endangered species like the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), pictured here.

Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the "Crown Jewels of our Ocean" and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.


James Watt, Seapics