National Marine Sanctuary: American Samoa
The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa is located in the cradle of Polynesia’s oldest culture and is thought to support the greatest diversity of marine life in the National Marine Sanctuary System, including a wide variety of coral and other invertebrates, fishes, turtles, marine mammals and marine plants. The sanctuary protects extensive coral reefs, including some of the oldest and largest Porites coral heads in the world, along with deep water reefs, hydrothermal vent communities, and rare marine archaeological resources, and also encompasses important fishing grounds, the southernmost point in the United States, and waters surrounding one of the world’s smallest atolls. The sanctuary is also the only true tropical reef within the National Marine Sanctuary System, and is the most remote location within that system. NOAA co-manages the sanctuary with the American Samoa Government and works closely with communities adjacent to the sanctuary, all within the context of Samoan cultural traditions and practices.