East Hawaii News

Mokupapapa Center Closing, to Reopen in New Home in June

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The Mokupapapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo is getting a new home just in time for its 10th anniversary in June.

The center located on 308 Kamehameha Ave. will close on Wednesday to allow for its relocation.

Using a variety of exhibits and interactive displays, the center showcases the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The monument, which is also a World Heritage Site, consists of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding marine environment.

Declared a marine national monument by presidential proclamation in 2006, Papahanaumokuakea encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific, an area larger than all of the nation’s national parks combined.

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It contains extensive coral reefs home to more than 7,000 marine species, a quarter of which are found only in the Hawaiian archipelago.

The monument is co-managed by the federal government and state of Hawaii.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which manages the Mokupapapa Discovery Center, has not yet said where the center’s new home will be located, other than it will be near the existing site.

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