Phoenix Islands Protected Area



The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Kiribati, just five degrees south of the equator. PIPA is the world’s first large, truly deep water MPA. As a vast expanse of largely pristine mid-ocean environments, PIPA is truly an oceanic wilderness. Encompassing 408,250 square kilometers (157,626 square miles) and 11% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), PIPA represents one of Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems. The remoteness of the area and the absence of permanent human settlement provide a unique opportunity for a high standard of habitat protection for species and ecosystems of global importance to science and conservation, from islands to deep ocean.

Within its boundaries, it includes all eight atoll and low reef islands of the Kiribati section of the Phoenix Island group: Rawaki, Enderbury, Nikumaroro, McKean, Manra, Birnie, Kanton and Orona. It also includes two submerged reefs, Carondelet Reef and Winslow Reef, with Carondelet Reef being as little as 3 to 4 meters underwater at low tide. The coral reefs of the Phoenix Islands are what a reef might have looked like a thousand years ago before the presence of humankind’s impacts, such as coastal development, pollution, and over fishing.

The Radio Heritage Foundation supports the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and the initiatives of organizations such as the New England Aquarium to improve our understanding of the area and its importance.

We have been able to contribute in a very small way by licensing material from our collections to help illustrate their fund raising book ‘Underwater Eden: Saving the Last Coral Wilderness on Earth’ published in 2013.



By buying this book, you’re contributing to both the Phoenix Islands Protected Area project, an initiative of the Government of the Republic of Kiribati, and the Radio Heritage Foundation.