Palmyra Today

PADA founder Jesse Johnson on Palmyra in 2019

The archive is dedicated to exploring Palmyra’s history, but thanks to the tireless efforts of several groups and their staff, Palmyra’s story, and its wildlife, is still growing. In 1999, Palmyra’s last private owners, the Fullard-Leo family, sold the atoll to the Nature Conservancy.  For the last 20 years, they have co-managed the islands and water around them with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  

In that time, tremendous effort has been made to protect Palmyra from new threats, as well as restore the damage from from 200 years of largely unchecked activities by man. Thankfully, that work has been a huge success.

The rats, mosquitoes, and invasive plant species which plagued Palmyra for decades have been, or are in the process of being, eliminated brought in check.  Chemicals, construction materials, and unexploded ordinance left from World War 2, have been largely removed or quarantined, and pose little threat to the many species of flora and fauna who are learning to thrive again in Palmyra’s jungle and lagoons.  

I encourage you to visit the resources below to learn more about what’s happening on Palmyra, and the scientists who are using lessons learned there to help save and restore reef systems and island ecologies all over the world.

Tour Palmyra's Coral Reefs

Thanks to the work of the Underwater Earth program, you can take a virtual tour of Palmyra’s reefs!  When you’re done, check out our Photos of Palmyra’s Reefs from 1987,, taken by Dr. Jim Maragos, and see how things have changed.

Learn more about Palmyra's Current caretakers

Scroll to Top