FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Donald
News Releases 2005
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CORAL REEF RESTORATION PROJECT TO BE FEATURED
The Hawaii Coral Reef and Native Algae Restoration Project will be featured during the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in St. Louis, Mo at the end of August.
The project focuses on removing invasive, non-native marine algae, specifically Gracilaria salicornia, from the beaches of Oahu. Because it has no natural predators in Hawaii, the algae has begun to dominate the ocean floor, smothering coral reefs and killing extensive areas of natural habitat. Volunteers, local communities, businesses, government agencies and other organizations have worked together to remove more than 88 tons of the algae and become one of the largest grassroots partnerships in Hawaii.
"Algal blooms are becoming increasingly common worldwide and can decimate coral reef ecosystems by overgrowing corals and decreasing biodiversity. No efforts currently exist to control invasive algae in the tropics on such a large scale as our efforts in Hawaii,” said Anne Rosa, marine conservation project coordinator for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. “To reach a greater scale, we have employed multiple strategies including the community-based initiatives of the Hawaii Coral Reef restoration project, as well as the development of new algae removal technology."
“Working together to protect out oceans and coastal resources is a core principle within NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The Hawaii Coral Reef Restoration Project is a classic example of how cooperative conservation strengthens shared governance and boosts citizen stewardship.”
In August 2004 President George W. Bush signed the Executive Order titled Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation directing the federal agencies involved in environmental policy to actively promote cooperative conservation. On August 29, 30 and 31, 2005, invited representatives from the public and private sectors will meet in St. Louis, Mo to share experiences and expertise to advance the cooperative conservation vision.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
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