Protecting Hawaii’s Reefs

Protecting Hawaii's Reefs
Categorized as Hawaii Vacation Information

It is a known fact that Hawaii is home to one of the most beautiful marine systems in the world. It is the natural beauty and abundant fish that the marine system holds which has helped to produce the majority of Hawaii’s economy. Statistics show that the most well known beaches in the islands attract a massive 3.5 million tourists every single year, with an estimated 5 million tourists crowding the beautiful, sandy beaches of Hawaii which are home to colonies of coral reefs.

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Coral is Alive
Corals are very distinctive in appearance, but many of us are actually unaware of exactly what they are. Corals are colonies of very small animals which can take hundreds of years to develop into the visible structures that we see in the water today. However, although they can take a significantly long period of time to form, it unfortunately does not take as long to destroy them. Simply touching corals can cause an entire colony to die due to the oils which live on our skin. These oils can disturb the mucus membranes that protect this specie from diseases and without this membrane, the coral then retracts in order to protect itself. This makes it unable to feed, causing them to die.

How to Protect Hawaii’s Reef
However, as fragile as this animal may be, we can help to protect it, allowing coral colonies to thrive within Hawaii’s seas. Whether you swim, snorkel, scuba dive or free dive whilst in Hawaii, by taking just a few precautions, we can all help to protect Hawaii’s reefs. Firstly, you should never stand or walk on coral as this can instantly kill the living coral polyps which help to create the structure of the reef. In the event that you are swimming in the water, diving or snorkeling, always look for a different way out of the water, such as a sandy spot instead of opting to climb over the coral reefs which will damage them. Even if you are simply exploring your surroundings, refrain from touching the coral and never pick up or hold reef life, including octopus as this could cause the sea life to become ill, making them vulnerable to predators. Residents of Hawaii can also do their bit whilst also abiding by these rules. Also simply using fewer household chemicals and garden pesticides can help to prevent the level of marine pollution.

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One of the main things we need to remember – whether we are visiting Hawaii or a resident, is to allow nature to simply be. We wouldn’t like for different species to invade our lives and cause us harm, so it is important that we do our utmost to stop this occurring to Hawaii’s reefs. A simple, careless mistake could result in the extinction of a whole community and as coral reefs are needed for many unknown marine life, damaging these reefs may do more harm than we could ever possibly know.

Explore Maui’s marine life from one of our Wailea vacation rentals.

Damaging a healthy marine area, can cause devastating effects within the food cycle, which in turn will affect us. The beauty of the islands relies on this resource as does the Hawaiian economy. So, do your bit in helping to protect Hawaii’s reefs; remember that they are a beautiful and sacred part of nature and the sea, and deserve as much care and respect as any other living organism on our earth.