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Florida’s reefs dying from ongoing disease outbreak

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide.  Hawaii strives to be proactive in its management and has developed programs, such as EOR, to respond to disease outbreaks.  Florida has a disease outbreak that has been ongoing since 2014 and has spread from Miami down into the Florida Keys.  This dire situation warns all coral reef managers of the extent of the danger that can occur from disease outbreaks.  Please take a  look at the overview of the disease outbreak Florida has provided. Disease Overview_Final 2018.05.15

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Coral reefs of yesteryear

Each generation of young ocean explorers enters the water for the first time and is amazed at the wonders of the undersea world, not knowing how coral reefs looked in yesteryear.   This is called a “shifting baseline”.   The booklet,  2012 Reef Reminiscences Booklet, interviews select pioneer marine biologists to get their memories of how glorious our oceans once were.  I recommend anyone that loves the ocean and coral reefs, to take a look at this booklet to see what we have lost, so that we can renew the fight for what we still have!

EOR members help scientists unravel pufferfish die-off mystery

In 2010, pufferfish (Arothron hispidus) around the state were dying in large numbers.  EOR members were quick to send in reports of dying fish giving scientists valuable information on how widespread and extensive the die-off was. (more…)

EOR members take action & clean up the reefs

A group of divers on Maui have been ridding their reefs of unwanted garbage.  Shawn Jezerinac, Lloyd Johnson, Bryan Sherman, Clayton, Bill Epplett, and Sharon Woloshen have removed almost 1000 lbs of discarded fishing line, weights, hooks, and other garbage.  A big mahalo to these dedicated souls for working to make Hawaii’s reef healthy!

 

Video explaining coral bleaching

http://cordioea.net/bleaching_resilience/coral-bleaching-videos/

Interesting video on corals

Video of bleaching off Kahe Point, Oahu

Thanks to Dr. Bruce Carlson for submitting this video!!

Why are Hawaii’s corals bleaching? 2015 FAQ

What is coral bleaching?

Coral bleaching is the loss of color from coral tissue allowing the white skeleton to show through.

Coral’s have an important relationship (symbiosis) with single-celled algae (zooxanthellae), which live in their tissues. The zooxanthella provides food for the coral and in return the coral provides a stable home for the algae. Most of the coral’s nutrition comes from the algae. Coral bleaching is the loss of color from the colony when the algae are expelled from the coral polyps and then the white coral skeleton is visible through the transparent coral tissue.

Partially bleached brown lobe coral (Porites evermanni)

Partially bleached brown lobe coral (Porites evermanni)

Close up of bleached coral polyps on brown lobe coral surrounded by healthy tissue

Close up of bleached coral polyps on brown lobe coral surrounded by healthy tissue

Why are our corals bleaching this year? (more…)

Spotlight on EOR volunteers: Peyton Williams

Peyton Williams

Mahalo Peyton for helping to care for Hawaii’s reefs!!

Peyton attended his first training with Eyes of the Reef about a year ago and he is now one of our EOR instructors!! Peyton has helped EOR tremendously by giving trainings and conducting outreach at many community events on Oahu. As a volunteer organization Eyes of the Reef depends on folks, like Peyton, to help promote coral reef conservation in Hawaii. Peyton hails from Charlottesville, VA, where he did graduate research in terrestrial ecology at the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Labs and was a member the UGA Institute of Ecology. He has held a variety of positions, including ecologist, Orange Co., VA, and environmental staff officer at the Army National Guard Environmental Office, Washington, D.C. As a volunteer, he has worked on a variety of projects for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and served as a Clean Water Captain, and trained Steward for CBF. He also was a trained Virginia Tree Steward. He is an active participant in REEF fish surveys and trained as a coral reef restorer with Coral Restoration Foundation. He currently works as a dive instructor at Dive Oahu.   (more…)

New article on black band disease on Kauai

BBD 2015 CD-Black band disease on Kauai 2015.  Click to download (more…)

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