Supporting reef management
Improving the health and resilience of Hawaii’s reefs is a priority of local community groups and state and federal agencies. For the first time, in 2015-2016 the state experienced extensive coral bleaching, sounding the alarm that more needs to be done to protect this fragile habitat. Numerous efforts have been spurred by this wakeup call and by projections that suggest that bleaching may become an annual event by the middle of this century9. These include the creation of a Coral Bleaching Response Task Force charged with making management recommendations, new proposals for community-based marine managed areas, and the ‘Hawai‘i 30 by 30 Oceans Target.’ This state initiative aims to have 30% of Hawaii’s nearshore waters under effective management by 2030.
“What I want to see as we move forward in the future is securing the longevity our reefs and nearshore resources for generations to come. It’s going to be a very different future, and having the information from the Ocean Tipping Points project is going to help us better understand what that future looks like and be able to implement management actions that will hopefully preserve more of it.”
-- Darla White, coral reef biologist, Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, Maui
Our team is working closely with partners on the ground to ensure that the results of our science help to inform these efforts, shedding light on key drivers, priority areas for protection, and the costs and benefits of different management options. This is a work in progress, and we invite you to stay connected to learn alongside us.