Locations Hawaii

Spatial Ecology of Coral Reefs: The Search for Resilience and Resistance to Global Environmental Change

Research

The CAO Coral Reef Challenge

Gregory P. Asner, September 2017

Coral reefs are global hotspots of biological diversity and support the livelihoods of more than a billion people worldwide.  Coral reefs cover roughly 500,000 km2 of the Earth’s surface, but are sparsely distributed over more than 200 million km2 of ocean (Figure 1).  Field studies currently represent less than 0.01% of coral reefs worldwide, and although local monitoring is important, it provides little understanding of the trajectory of coral reefs undergoing regional and global environmental change. Read More

Hawaii considers banning certain sunscreens to protect coral reefs

Media Coverage

KONA, Hawaii — Hawaiian lawmakers are considering a ban on some popular sunscreens to try to protect coral reefs.

Researchers found that oxybenzone, a UV filtering ingredient commonly found in lotions, harms the coral. Up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen wind up in coral reef areas of the ocean every year, and scientists say that contributes to the ecosystem’s damage.

The Big Island of Hawaii’s pristine coastline is home to one of the state’s largest coral reefs, a miles-long stretch that scientists say is dying at an alarming rate.

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