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The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest marine protected area in the Pacific Ocean. As part of the permitting process which enables us to work on Nikumaroro, we are required to submit a report to PIPA at the end of each expedition, describing what we did, what we saw, and including video and still images of the island and its environment. The report was delivered in person by Ric Gillespie on June 23, 2011, in Tarawa, and is published below. There are also numerous appendices which are published in the Analysis section.

to the
Phoenix Islands Protected Area Management Committee

Page 2.      
Areas covered


As described in the application for the PIPA permit for this expedition, the objectives of the proposed 2010 research were:

a. To continue study of the “Seven Site” at the southeast end of the island, which historical and archaeological data associate with the site where a partial human skeleton, a woman's shoe, a sextant box and other artifacts were found in 1940 by residents of the village established in 1938 as part of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme.

This objective was achieved. An irregularly shaped area of approximately 1,000 square meters was cleared and examined as described in Appendix A – Excavations at the Seven Site.

Satellite image
Above, satellite image of Nikumaroro showing the areas covered by the underwater search and the archaeological site.
Right, satellite image of Nikumaroro showing the location fo the Seven Site. Note the trails cut from the red box out to the ocean, right, and lagoon, left.
Immediately below, a panoramic view of the Seven Site taken with Kite Aerial Photography (KAP).
Below that, a panoramic view at ground level.

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