In honor of Earth Month, we partnered with Kuleana Coral to regenerate native Hawaiian coral. This non-profit's approach to restoration aligns perfectly with our value to malama i ka aina and give back to the community. We had the opportunity to learn more about their efforts with Carissa from Kuleana Coral, and are excited to spread the word.
By: Carissa Cabrera, Kuleana Coral Restoration
Kuleana Coral Restoration is on a mission to restore degraded reefs in Hawai’i, and build coastal resilience for our communities. In 2019, Kuleana Coral Restoration (KCR) was founded by fishers, surfers, and scientists to pair traditional knowledge with scientific techniques to restore West Oʻahu reefs and cultivate reef resilience. Since then, they’ve made a wave of impact on West O’ahu and are growing every day.
The coral reefs of Hawaiʻi are being degraded and lost due to human impacts, and they need our help. Losing coral reefs means our local culture, fisheries, coastal activities, and our way of life is threatened, too.
KCR works to identify coral restoration sites and sends out a dive team to survey for Corals of Opportunity (COOs). Corals of Opportunity represent large colonies that would otherwise die if not reattached to the reef. These Large Rescue Colonies can represent over 50 years of coral growth!
Our team relocates and reattaches dislodged coral so it gets another chance of survival. For the collected corals that are younger and smaller, we host fragmentation events where the public, visitors, students, and KCR team can help restore the reef with us on land. Fragmentation is a process that cuts corals into smaller pieces so they grow faster, and can be reattached to a module and outplanted back onto the reef. We like to compare this to planting seeds in a garden that will grow to be a large tree, or in this case, a thriving coral reef.
Coral restoration takes many hands, known as laulima, and we need everyone’s help to protect the reefs of Hawai’i. With the help of many citizen scientists and donors, weʻve outplanted 1,500+ corals to sites across West Oʻahu and beyond. Mahalo for your support this Earth month and beyond to protect our reefs and all they sustain.
To kōkua the efforts and amazing work of Kuleana Coral, SHOP Waiākea this month! For every 25 orders you are restoring 1 large colony of coral here in Hawaiʻi.