About Your Sanctuary
|Samoan Archipelago with Sanctuary Units Identified. Click here for a larger map.|
The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa is one of 14 federally designated underwater areas protected by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Of all the areas in the National Marine Sanctuary System, the American Samoa sanctuary is the most remote, is the only true tropical reef, and is thought to support the greatest diversity of marine life.
The sanctuary is comprised of six protected areas, covering 13,581 square miles of nearshore coral reef and offshore open ocean waters across the Samoan Archipelago.
This largest of the 13 sanctuaries in the National Marine Sanctuary System was formerly the smallest, as NOAA originally established the sanctuary in 1986 to protect and preserve the 0.25 square miles of coral reef ecosystem within Fagatele Bay. In 2012, NOAA expanded the sanctuary to include Fagalua/Fogama’a (the next bay east of Fagatele) on Tutuila Island, as well as areas at Aunu’u, Ta’u and Swains islands, and a marine protected area at Rose Atoll (which was named Muliāva as known by the Manu’a residents) including nearby Vailulu’u Seamount.