The Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative

Projects for fiscal year 2009

  • An Ecosystem Recovery Area in Maui Coastal Waters (Kahekili, Maui)
    Dr. Celia Smith, PI
    Since 1999, there has been a significant decrease in the number of reef building coral and crustose coralline algae cover in northwest Maui while the abundance of algae-in particular the invasive Acanthopora spicifera has increased sharply.  In order to understand the dynamics involved in the surge of harmful algal populations, the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative has sponsored Dr. Celia Smith to research and recommend practical solutions aimed at restoring the optimal environmental conditions necessary for corals to thrive. Read More >>
  • Community-Based Recovery Program For Maunalua Bay, Oahu
    Dr. Robert Richmond, PI
    Maunalua Bay has long been a place of recreation for many Oahu residents in spite of its degraded waters due to use pattern changes, eutrophication, sedimentation, introduced species, and resource exploitation. Management and policy initiatives to reverse the present trend of coral reef decline in Maunalua Bay depend on the availability and application of sound scientific data. Read More >>
  • Characterize Public Health Issues From Exposure To Pathogens (Kahekili, Maui)
    Dr. Robert Toonen, PI
    In the past thirty years, the coastal waters of Kahekili and Kihei in Maui have seen a sharp increase in nuisance algal blooms such as Ulva fasciata; it is thought that the high concentration of algal nutrients correlates to the amount of sewage effluent and the human pathogens and fecal bacteria it harbors.  In addition, pathogens such as Vibrio spp., Leptospira, and Legionella pneumophila and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)  become much more virulent to humans in the presence of sewage effluent and  make recreational users of these waters ill.  Read More >>
  • Research Algal Dynamics (Maunalua Bay, Oahu)
    Dr. Florence Thomas, PI
    First discovered off the coast of O'ahu 28 years ago, the invasive macroalgae Avrainvillea amadelpha is slowly overgrowing the extensive Halophila seagrass meadows found in the area of Maunalua Bay and Kalaeloa.  Since it is a relatively slow-growing algae and recent research indicates the seagrass' high rate of survivability, there is a positive outlook for restoration of the natural habitat.  Read More >>