Midway Atoll is actually composed of two small islands, Sand Island -which is the largest and the only one inhabited- and Eastern Island, slightly over one mile long, and separated from Sand Island by a narrow channel that provides access to the interior of the lagoon.
Matt Brown, Manager of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, took us on a tour of Eastern Island as he and two volunteers inspected three fresh water ponds occupied by extremely rare and endangered Laysan Ducks. Eastern Island is entirely crisscrossed by abandoned runways dating back to World War II, today almost unrecognizable under a layer of vegetation that grows through cracks in the pavement. While nature slowly triumphs over dilapidated asphalt, iron and cement, Eastern Island has not escaped the onslaught of plastic pollution, which is present everywhere.
Video by Bill Weaver. Cinematography by Jan Vozenilek. Voiceover by Chris Jordan. Interviewee: Matt Brown. Music by Vanessa LeBourdais.