Howland Island

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Howland Island (pronounced /ˈhaʊlənd/) is an uninhabited coral island located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean, about 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia and is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States. Geographically, it is part of the Phoenix Islands. For statistical purposes, Howland is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

Howland is located at 0°48′07″N 176°38′3″W / 0.80194°N 176.63417°W / 0.80194; -176.63417Coordinates: 0°48′07″N 176°38′3″W / 0.80194°N 176.63417°W / 0.80194; -176.63417.[1] It covers 450 acres (1.8 km2), with 4 miles (6.4 km) of coastline. The island has an elongated shape on a north-south axis. There is no lagoon.

Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of the 455 acres (1.84 km2) island and the surrounding 32,074 acres (129.80 km2) of submerged land. The island is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an insular area under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

The atoll has no economic activity, and is perhaps best known as the island Amelia Earhart never reached. Airstrips built in the late 1930s to accommodate her planned stopover were never used, subsequently damaged, not maintained and gradually disappeared. There are no harbors or docks. The reefs may pose a hazard. There is one boat landing area along the middle of the sandy beach on the west coast together with a crumbling day beacon. The island is visited every two years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.[2]


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