Hundreds of seabirds killed by strong storms that slammed Midway Atoll

In another step toward a possible class-action lawsuit, more military and civilian families are filing claims against the Navy over the tainted water crisis.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:05 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 10:50 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Severe storms that slammed Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument have left hundreds of seabirds dead.

Laysan albatross and Bonin petrel are among the species impacted by strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge that pounded Midway Atoll for the past month and a half.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said fallen trees have also destroyed hundreds of nests.

In one area, that only covers about a tenth of the islands, 15 adult albatross were killed or severely injured and 25 nests were destroyed.

The severe weather also dismantled a World War II sea plane hangar.

“We have limited ability and limited funds to actually restore a lot of the buildings that are out there,” said Jared Underwood, superintendent for Papahanaumokuakea. “And once we complete our assessment, the site will be memorialized so that there’s a permanent remembrance of that area.”

Crews previously cut down trees and created dunes to prevent storm surges.

The agency is now in the process of relocating albatross to create a new colony of birds at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu’s North shore.

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