|Photograph by Jean Kenyon|
Rose Atoll was first documented in 1819 by Captain Louis de Freycinet who named the isle “Rose” after his wife. It was later visited in 1824 by Otto von Kotzebue and in 1839 by Dr. Charles Pickering, as part of the US exploring expedition, who was likely the first scientist to visit the atoll. Rose Atoll has always been uninhabited except for a brief time in the 1860s when there was an unsuccessful attempt to establish a fishing station and coconut plantation by a German firm. In 1920 a concrete monument was erected on Rose Island by the naval governor of American Samoa to commemorate his visit and allow public access to the atoll. Later in 1941, President Roosevelt made the atoll a naval defense area, but it was never used for that purpose. Rose Atoll became a National Wildlife Refuge on July 5, 1973 and a Marine National Monument on January 6, 2009.
|Photograph from noaa.coris.gov|
We are looking forward to the diverse ecological community and habitats that an atoll provides. Rose Atoll will be only the 2nd atoll that we've visited on this mission (the other was Johnston Atoll) and it will be interesting to see how the coral reefs of Rose Atoll differ from those around Tutuila Island.