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Maui Women Launch Statewide Bleachapalooza to Combat Coral Bleaching

October 1, 2015, 2:08 PM HST · Updated October 5, 4:51 PM
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Bleached Coral in Kāheʻohe Bay Hawaiʻi. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Bleached Coral in Kāheʻohe Bay Hawaiʻi. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey

The state department of Land and Natural Resources launches a “Bleachapalooza” event this weekend to bring attention to the damaging effects of coral bleaching in the islands.

State authorities describe coral bleaching as “a stress response caused by high ocean temperatures that makes corals appear white and can ultimately lead to their death.”

The statewide Bleachapalooza event is the brainchild of Maui community organizer Liz Foote and state Division of Aquatics Resources special projects coordinator Darla White.

“We initially conceptualized Bleachapalooza as an event for Maui that would provide a way for people to take positive action for our reefs by reporting coral bleaching.  Once we started talking to our colleagues, it immediately became clear that this call for action should extend statewide,” said White.

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Here on Maui, volunteers are invited to participate by learning how to identify coral bleaching and report their findings to the Eyes of the Reef Network this Saturday, Oct. 3, at 9 a.m. at Kahekili Beach Park in West Maui.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “The ocean is the lifeblood of Hawaii and our coral reefs are the building blocks for the entirety of a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Virtually everyone in Hawaii enjoys the ocean in some way and anything we can all do to help protect coral reefs will help protect our most vital natural resource for generations to come.”

For more information or to RSVP, email: kaanapalimakaiwatch@gmail.com.

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