Coconut Island Provides Valuable Research For National Monument

Kuulei Rodgers
Kuulei Rodgers

COCONUT ISLAND (KHNL) - Scientists from the main Hawaiian Islands are hard at work in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They're on a special research trip for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Coconut Island. It's a place most of us have seen, because it was used in the opening for the popular television show, Gillian's island.

But few of us have ever been to this mysterious island. It's a special research facility -- and the only way to get there is by boat, with an express invitation.

Many of the studies done on this island will provide invaluable research to help protect the monument.

"The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are extremely unique, and we want to protect it from the impacts that have so drastically changed the main Hawaiian Islands," said Coral Reef Ecologist Ku'ulei Rodgers.

These marine biologists say negative changes have already begun to affect the Marine National Monument and many factors are to blame.

"Overfishing, population costal development, pollution lots of things, global warming, we have ghost fishing, all of these things alien species introductions, have big impacts on Hawaii's natural resources," said Rob Toonen, assistant research professor.

"We are conducting survey's in the Northwestern Hawaiian islands to compliment our suite of surveys here in the main hawaiian islands so that we an understand better what the changes are over time," said Rodgers.

They hope we can learn from our mistakes on the inhabited Hawaiian islands, so that we can preserve the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The Papahaunaumoukuakea Marine National Monument is the world largest fully protected marine conserve area.