Kapou, Papa‘āpoho (Lisianski Island)

Kapou, meaning “post, pillar, pole or shaft,” may refer to the unusual rainbow formations seen here that resemble “pillars going straight into the clouds.” Papa‘āpoho describes a flat area with a hollow or depression, which is exactly how this raised atoll is shaped.

~ Please enjoy the 360 panoramic video of ulua and sharks in the NWHI until we upload video from Papaʻāpoho ~




About 20 million years ago, geologic forces raised the tip of a huge coral bank above sea level. Today, Papaʻāpoho is 381 acres, about the size of Honolulu. Its highest point is a sand dune about 40 feet above sea level.

A school of Ulua swim around a diver

A shark swimming above a coral reef

Though the island is small, the reef area to the southeast, called Neva Shoals, is huge, covering 241,916 acres, an area nearly the size of Oʻahu.


Our Research

Microscope; Illustration: Noun Project

Information on various methods used to research coral health

Interactive Map

Map Marker; Illustration: Noun Project

Explore and compare data between sites, species, or by specific diseases

Coral Health

Waves; Illustration: Noun Project

Information about Coral Health and why it is important