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Home / Science / Hawaiis Olowalu Reef is a vital natural treasure | lifestyle

Hawaiis Olowalu Reef is a vital natural treasure | lifestyle



The reef is life. Anyone living near an ocean with a considerable coral reef off the coast will no doubt say so.

A healthy coral reef is a living thing whose inhabitants often come first in an ever-expanding aquatic food chain all life in the ocean. The coral reefs, sometimes referred to as the "rainforest of the sea," are among the most biodiverse areas on earth, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all marine species.

The end and death of reefs worldwide The changing conditions, global warming, and encroachment of humanity are causing a significant loss to the creatures that live in the oceans, and ultimately to the rest of us who live on land , These facts came to our attention during a Pacific Whale Foundation snorkeling expedition on the Olowalu Reef off the southwestern coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui. With an area of ​​1

,000 acres, Olowalu is the largest and oldest reef in the Hawaiian archipelago, and its revitalization offers the greatest hope for reefs along the entire island chain.

The original destination of this ship was a snorkel off the neighboring island of Lanai. However, the recent storms had churned up the seabed and impaired visibility. Halfway there, our captain steered our boat towards Olowalu, which was considered Hawaii's "mother reef".

Olowalu proved to be a wonderland of marine life, with fish of all kinds and colors shooting in and out of its coral formations. We hovered about 10 feet above the reef at its lowest points, content to watch as the residents engaged in their daily interactions, training on a few occasions, and performing independent searches for food in others.

Unfortunately, the sea turtles are octopuses and mantas that also occupy the area were not visible on that day. Nonetheless, we were satisfied with the variety we saw.

We were nothing more than mere shadows over the reef, and that's exactly what it should have been.

Last year, Olowalu Reef became the first hope spot in the Hawaiian Islands of Mission Blue, a Napa, California, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting marine areas worldwide.

In Hawaiian history, the onshore area of ​​Olowalu, where today a small community exists, was regarded as pu, or sanctuary, where people seek refuge, think, and find time can to heal. According to Mission Blue, less than 6 percent of the ocean is protected in any way, compared to 12 percent of the country. We hoped that the historical influence of the region would affect the healing of the reef.

Much of the Olowalu reef suffers from the same bleach and human intervention that kills other reefs worldwide. The Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research has made efforts to help Olowalu and other island reefs return.

Coral outcrop at Flynn Reef near Queensland, Australia, shows how colorful many reefs are.

Erection of new reefs

Another possibility to support reef life is the construction of new reefs, which often use sunken vessels as a basis. One day later, we made another trip, this time to survey a new reef under construction from below.

We boarded the 48-passenger submarine from Atlantis Adventures to the wreckage of The Carthaginian II a 130 3-masted schooner and whaling ship replica, formerly in the port of Lahaina, Maui's most historic Whaling village, was anchored.

The original Karthager, a ship from 1920, which in 1965 in the film version of the James Michener novel Hawaii failed in 1973 at the Lahaina Reef and was subsequently destroyed. A replacement was found, converted and served as a floating naval museum in the port of Lahaina for 32 years

Finally, the ship rotted and became too expensive to repair. In 2005, it was towed half a mile off Puamana Beach Park and deliberately sunk to lay the foundation for a new reef.

Now, 13 years later, the wreck shows signs of new coral growth and increasing fish stocking. The hull was actually a breeding ground for reef sharks, and several of the six foot fish were seen resting in the sand and swimming in and out of the wreck with the trumpet fish, orange unicorn fish, and occasional eagle ray

Developing riffs at eye level 97 feet below the surface gave us a new appreciation for the role that the evolving structure played. The reef serves as an anchor for its water community, a refuge for smaller fish and a home for anemones, sea urchins and other forms of life without moving force.

Without reefs, many of these lifeforms would indeed be unable to exist in the vast, empty expanse of the ocean.

Earlier this year, the state of Hawaii issued a ban on sunscreens that are not "reef-proof." Trademarks that use chemicals such as oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, and 4-methylbenzylidine Camphor are a threat to the reef and help in "coral bleaching," which is harmful to coral larvae. Natural and organic brands avoid these chemicals and are safer for reefs and the life they support.

Once you've seen the reefs and realized their vital importance, you'll see why even the tiniest steps can be important. 19659022] (function (d, s, id) {
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