HONOLULU (KHON2) — Teams from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) planted coral in the waters of Hanauma Bay on Oct. 7. The five corals were raised at the Hawaii Avenue Coral Restoration Nursery on Sand Island.
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The 4-year-old corals are the same species of coral that are already present in Hanauma Bay.
The project is being run by the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). DAR teams out-planted the corals in murky and rough ocean conditions.
The effort focuses on the coral reefs, but the benefits do not stop there. DAR aquatic biologist David Gulko says “If we can improve the coral reef ecosystem it not only enhances the benefits for all the aquatic life in the bay but provides the seeds to help other parts of Oahu maintain the wide range of biodiversity that is unique to Hawaiian marine life and our reefs.”
The nursery has experienced a 100% success rate with previous out-planting locations off of Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, Sand Island, and the airport reef runway. The Hanauma Bay project will be the first attempt to restore reefs in an area that experiences high levels of human activity.
Volunteers from the community will help monitor the health of the corals to see if the project can lead to a larger scale restoration.