HONOLULU (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected West Hawaii and the southern tip of Guam for targeted conservation efforts.
The agency said Tuesday it aims to promote sustainable and abundant fish populations in both areas. It aims to recover threatened and endangered species, protect habitats and increase access for tourism and recreation.
NOAA says endangered or threatened Hawaiian monk seals, humpback whales and green sea turtles live among beaches and reefs of the Big Island's west side. But the area is threatened by drought, fire, invasive species and development.
The agency says the Manell-Geus watershed on Guam contains extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs that support sea turtles and strong fishing traditions. But erosion on steep hillsides and stream banks leads to poor water quality that harms the reef.