National Park of American Samoa Visitor Center, Pago Pago

PARK HISTORY

Established on October 31, 1988 (PL 100-571). The park has units on three tropical islands (Tutuila, Ta’ū, and Ofu) in the Territory of American Samoa, located in the South Pacific Ocean. Because the park could not purchase traditional communal land, it was not until 1993 that the park signed a 50-year lease agreement with eight participating villages. Congress approved an expansion of the park on neighboring Olosega Island in 2002 that incorporates two additional villages. Website: www.nps.gov/npsa. Phone: 684-633-7082.

PURPOSE

The National Park of American Samoa, the only National Park Service site south of the Equator, provides habitat for oceanic paleotropic rainforests and Indo-Pacific coral reefs that are unique within the National Park System. The park’s purpose is to preserve and protect the tropical rainforest, coral reefs, archeological and cultural resources of American Samoa, to maintain the habitat of flying foxes, preserve the ecological balance of the Samoan tropical forest, and, consistent with the preservation of these resources, to provide for the enjoyment of the unique resources of the Samoan tropical forest by visitors from around the world.

RESOURCES

The park consists of expansive tropical rainforests on steep volcanic mountain slopes, surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. About 30% of the plant species are endemic to the archipelago. Subsistence farming is allowed. The only native mammal species are three species of bats, including large fruit bats with 3-foot wingspans. There are 35 species of native birds. The marine system is highly diverse with some 950 reef fish and 250 coral species, as well as rare and endangered sea turtles and humpback whales. Over a hundred nearshore species are harvested for food (subsistence fishing is allowed within the park). All of the park’s resources are interwoven within the Samoan culture. In keeping with the meaning of the word Samoa—“sacred earth”—the park helps protect fa’asamoa—the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the 3,000-year-old Samoan culture.

STATISTICS

Size: 13,500 total acres (9,500 land acres and 4,000 marine acres—mostly coral reefs).

11.7 miles of trails.

Staffing: 25 employees (permanent, term, and seasonal), 25 American Conservation Experience (ACE), 1 volunteer, and 24 firefighters.

Annual Visitation: About 23,000.

Budget: FY13: $1.86 million ($537,000 is paid annually to the villages for land leased by the park).
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National Park of American Samoa Visitor Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
27 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is a very nice place to visit especially if you plan to drive up into the park. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable and will answer most questions you have about the park and what...  more »
  • National Park of American Samoa Visitor Center is a nice place to visit to get information about the National Park and the history of the area. The staff is super nice and helpful. The only drawback.....  more »
Google
  • The staff were friendly. They had models and videos to explain the importance of our environment. They also come out to the classrooms to inform them about keeping our environment clean to protect our island, animals, plants and us. I believe they also can take you on field trips to their protected areas.
  • Great info on American Samoa's wildlife especially endangered species as well as traditional hunting and fishing techniques, cultural significances etc. Historic info on WW2 sites and guided tours can be arranged

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