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On World Oceans Day, organizations share a message of urgency ... and hope

On World Oceans Day, organizations are marking the 10-year anniversary of restoration efforts at Maunalua Bay.
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:11 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For World Oceans Day on Tuesday, Hawaii organizations are working to remind residents that their actions have an impact.

And they’re also highlighting a major restoration project that continues to pay off.

In 2010, Pono Pacific was contracted by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii to remove 22 acres of invasive allied algae at Maunalua Bay. The project was known as The Great Huki.

They ended up clearing 26 acres alongside the conservancy and Malama Maunalua.

Along with volunteers, the organizations removed the algae and much of it has been recycled for local farms. The algae can often take over the environment and eliminate space for native species.

Leather mudweed is the predominant invasive species. It traps pollution and sediment. Fish don’t eat the species so there isn’t much to stop the growth.

“What the leather mudweed is doing is collecting all the sediment that runs off Mauka and is holding it in our near shore reefs and smothering the reef,” said Pono Pacific Operations Director Gerry Kahookano.

At the time of the project, 85% of the Paiko area was mudweed. Today, it is now under 23% and native limu has grown by over 25%.

Malama Maunaluea is also working in collaboration with other organizations to restore Maunalua Bay by using local corals.

“The project is to identify some of those corals that will survive warming waters, fragment them, replant them throughout the bay, and then we’ll have reefs that will be able to survive some of those warming trends that we’re expecting,” said Doug Harper, Malama Maunalua executive director.

“And so future generations will have reef and habitat.”

They are looking for volunteers for the project. For more information, click here.

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