BENEFITING: The Nature Conservancy
Raising funds to help clean up Kāne‘ohe Bay. The bay's fish and coral populations have been devastated by the combination of three primary threats: invasive algae, land-based sources of pollution and overfishing. Intentionally introduced into Hawai‘i for aquaculture more than 30 years ago, invasive algae have spread quickly without healthy populations of native herbivorous (plant-eating) fish and sea urchins to keep them in check. Fed by sediment and nutrient-rich pollution, they have formed thick, tangled mats that smother coral and blanket the reef’s crevices, destroying the natural habitat for reef fish and impairing the ecological function of the bay’s coral reef system. The project’s long-term goal is to restore 100 acres of reefs and 400 acres of wetlands by removing invasive algae from reefs; replenishing native marine herbivores in the bay; and revitalizing the adjacent wetlands.