Kilo: Ocean Health
Kilo - to watch closely, examine, observe
You may have noticed the temperatures this summer seem a bit higher than usual. It isn't in your head. Hundreds of heat records have been tied or broken across the state since April this year. The unusual heat has been affected by several factors including reduced trade winds and increased ocean temperatures.
The weather has impacted the ocean and beachgoers this summer. Man-o-war are nearly constant and algal blooms looking like mile long oil slicks are visible offshore. Even the inland canals are experiencing the heat with fish die offs. The ocean is so hot in fact that NOAA has issued a warning and call for assistance over the next couple months in preparation for massive coral bleaching.
Bleaching occurs when water temperatures are too high, causing corals to expel the symbiotic algae in their bodies that provide 90% of their energy. Corals that have turned white, have been bleached but they can still be alive. Although corals can recover if temperatures return to normal, prolonged exposure to high temperatures will kill corals.
Here are some steps you can take to help:
The DLNR captured this image of coral bleaching off Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on Hawaii Island. (Image: DLNR)
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.