Midway Atoll: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Faces Many Competing Priorities

Midway, a trio of islands about 1,300 miles from Honolulu, has been managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as a wildlife refuge since the closure of a naval base in 1996. Midway also serves as a national memorial to a historic World War II battle. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review FWS’s management of Midway. This report examines (1) funding for operations and projects on Midway for fiscal years 2009 to 2015, (2) how FWS maintained historic properties on Midway and the extent to which it consulted with key parties and sought public comment, (3) challenges FWS faces in reestablishing a public visitation program, and (4) the use of Midway’s Henderson Airfield. GAO visited Midway in April 2015 to observe the condition of historic and other properties. GAO reviewed budget data for Midway from fiscal years 2009 through 2015; reviewed laws, policies, and regulations on historic preservation; examined public visitation plans, emergency landing data, and the use of the airfield; and interviewed FWS, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation officials and other stakeholders. GAO recommends that FWS ensure that the public, including previously interested key parties, are notified about FWS actions on Midway that may have an adverse effect on historic properties. The Department of the Interior agreed with GAO’s recommendation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 117p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01603676
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: GAO-16-382
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 2 2016 2:53PM