Results and Accomplishments
Removing alien algae from high priority coral reefs is key to the long-term survival of Hawaii’s reefs and the abundance of life that thrives there. Volunteers have removed more than 91 tons of the alien alga G. salicornia at more than a dozen community-based events over the past three years.
The Nature Conservancy recently developed and is testing a floating platform barge with a mechanized removal device, greatly increasing removal efficiency. The University of Hawaii, Waikiki Aquarium, Hawaii Coral Reef Research Initiative, and the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology are also exploring a new invasive algae control technique that uses a native Hawaiian sea urchin (Tripnuestes gratilla) to graze any remaining invasive algae, and thereby help to prevent re-establishment after mechanical removal.
The State Division of Aquatic Resources, the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, and The Nature Conservancy are now reaching out to communities statewide, offering education and volunteer opportunities for control, early detection, and rapid response to curtail the spread of invasive algae in other areas, and more importantly, to stop new infestations before they become established.