The Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation will close Kahaluu Beach Park from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday due to expected coral spawning events.
According to the Aquatic Resources Division and Eyes of the Reef Network, Cauliflower Coral ( pocillopora meandrina ) was previously abundant in shallow coral reefs along West Hawaii, including Kahaluu Bay. A global thermal stress event that resulted in very high sea temperatures hit West Hawaii in the fall of 2015, causing catastrophic bleaching and mortality for more than 90 percent of the regional cauliflower coral population.
To recover from this event, natural coral reproduction and replenishment activities are crucial. For more than a decade, researchers have been observing annual cauliflower coral spawning events and are now able to predict exactly when they are likely to occur based on seasonal, solar, tidal and lunar cycles.
During spawning shipments, corals emit reproductive material into the water column, and these materials are borne by the tides to mix and produce planktonic coral larvae. During this time, the physical disturbance of corals and pollutants in the water (eg oxybenzone in many sun creams) must be minimized to ensure that corals are successful.
Info: Kahaluu Bay Education Center at 887-641