Mokupapapa Discovery Center open during shutdown

  • Photo: Andy Collins/NOAA
    Visitors enjoy one of Mokupapapa Discovery Center’s aquarium displays.

Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo remains open to the public during the federal government shutdown. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the national nonprofit partner for the National Marine Sanctuary System, is ensuring staffing of the center and continuing operations during the shutdown.

“Education and community engagement is a critical component of successful marine conservation efforts,” said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “It is important to keep Mokupapapa Discovery Center open for the hundreds of weekly visitors, school children and seniors who enjoy the exhibits and displays while learning about Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.”


The center is located on the Hilo Bayfront at 76 Kamehameha Ave., is free to the public, and is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

MDC also hosts a store for the Hawaii Pacific Park Association to support all national parks in Hawaii. The store remains open during the shutdown.


Government phone access at the center is not available, and delivers a message about the shutdown. The current best number to reach the center is (808) 498-4709.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System.