Hawaiian cauliflower coral with domino damsels – photo by Lindsey Kramer

About Hawaiʻi’s Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are rare in the world, existing in only two percent of the world’s oceans. While the diversity of life in a coral reef is second only to that of the tropical rainforest, reefs around the world are in danger of extinction within our own lifetimes.

The world’s coral reefs are greatly impacted by environmental degradation and human misuse. Coral bleaching, overfishing, abusive fishing techniques, anchor damage, algae blooms, global warming, non-reef-safe sunscreens, and fish feeding are some of the problems affecting the natural balance of our reef ecosystems today.

How Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund works to help Coral Reefs

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund has participated in the Coral Reef Initiative, an international effort dedicated to gaining a baseline understanding of the health of Hawaii’s coral reefs since the 1990’s.

HWF naturalists are certified in underwater survey techniques by a program at the University of Hawaiʻi. We conduct coral reef assessment projects to better understand reef health, sea turtle habitat and the impact of potential development to our reefs.

HWF increases public awareness about our unique reef ecosystems by sponsoring conferences and symposia, distributing coral reef cards and teaching visitors firsthand about proper reef etiquette. We advocate a no-touch policy, no fish feeding, and respect for sea turtles and other marine life; “take only pictures, leave only bubbles.”

Hawaiian Coral Reefs