Midway Atoll

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Midway Atoll (or Midway Island or Midway Islands, pronounced /ˈmɪdweɪ/; Hawaiian: Pihemanu Kauihelani [1]) is a 2.4-square-mile (6.2 km²) atoll located in the North Pacific Ocean (near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago), about one-third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo. Uniquely among the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes UTC-11 (also known as Samoa Time), eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time and one hour behind the state of Hawaiʻi. Midway Atoll is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States. It is less than 140 nautical miles (259 km; 161 mi) east of the International Date Line, about 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km; 3,200 mi) west of San Francisco, and 2,200 nautical miles (4,100 km; 2,500 mi) east of Tokyo. It consists of a ring-shaped barrier reef and several sand islets. The two significant pieces of land, Sand Island and Eastern Island, provide habitat for millions of seabirds. The island sizes are shown here:

According to other sources, Sand Island measures 1,250 acres (5.1 km2) in area and the lagoon within the fringing rim of coral reef 9,900 acres (4,000 ha). The atoll, which has a small population (approximately 60 in 2009, but no indigenous inhabitants), is designated an insular area under the authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 590,991.50 acres (239,165.77 ha)[2] of land and water (mostly water) in the surrounding area, is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The visitor program reopened in January 2008 and there are facilities at the present time for receiving visitors. Currently the best way to travel to the Atoll is through organized tour companies.[neutrality is disputed] They offer week long naturalist led tours focused on the ecology of Midway and the military history. The economy is derived solely from governmental sources and tourist fees. All food and manufactured goods must be imported. The refuge and most of its surrounding area is part of the larger Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Midway, as its name suggests, lies nearly halfway between North America and Asia, and halfway around the world from Greenwich, England. For statistical purposes, Midway is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

Midway is best known as the location of the Battle of Midway, fought in World War II on June 4–6, 1942. Nearby, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against the Midway Islands, marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific Theater.

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