Ocean Pulse


Ocean Pulse is a comprehensive study of coral reef ecology and the marine environment. It is an inspiring, hands-on program for students in grades K-college. These courses unite students and the local community as they conduct a field survey of our most precious natural resource – the ocean.

“Ocean Pulse Education Programs will help coral reef communities better understand and ultimately conserve their island reefs.”

Dolphin Log / Cousteau Society


Our ocean and beaches become a “Living Classroom.” Students learn to identify reef species, gather data, and compare it to previous studies.  This provides vital information about the health of the reefs and promotes a positive direction for other ocean communities to follow.

Students learn the importance of protecting a fragile ecosystem, how coral reefs interconnect with all species in the ocean, and crucial steps required to preserve our marine environment. Our next generation needs this knowledge in order to assure the life of our oceans. By the time the present students graduate from High School, they will have the consciousness that conservation is a positive, if not essential way of life.

Ocean Pulse is aligned with grade specific content and performance standards. These courses provide teachers with valuable tools and community connections needed for carrying out on-going, “meaningful” experiences in their classrooms. The Ocean Pulse Outreach Department provides teachers with opportunities for professional development in the area of environmental education. Teachers that weave critical environmental issues together with classroom and field activities can stimulate interest and lead young people toward thoughtful stewardship of natural resources.

The Ocean Pulse manual provides a standard for student marine education, coral reef study, and the gathering of baseline information. These standardized and easy to follow courses may be utilized by school districts in diverse locations worldwide. Our vision is to establish a global network (via the Internet) of informed and empowered “Ocean Guardians” to assure the life of our oceans.

Ocean Pulse – All Ages and Grade levels

Students focus on the complex relationships within ecosystems resulting from changes in climate, human activity, and the introduction of non-native species. Activities include investigating the formation of the islands, determining fish & turtle population assemblages, coral reef monitoring, classifying and mapping native and introduced species, measuring biotic and abiotic factors of different ecosystems, marine mammal study, and applying international oceanographic sampling and research protocols to define the marine environment. Students also “Adopt-A-Reef” and become “Ocean Guardians” of their local beaches. This information is made available to other students around the globe via the Internet.

Ocean Pulse Certification

– All ages and Levels!

Advanced Ocean Pulse! This Certification Program offers an exciting opportunity for students to engage in research, and receive hands-on training in marine sciences. This is a course on species identification and classification, calcification and structure of coral, origins and distribution of species, composition, zonation, reproduction, productivity, growth, species interaction, and identifies the role of algae and Zooxanthellae. Emphasis is on experiential labs to survey and monitor reef organisms using internationally known research protocols.

Students learn ecological principles, conservation issues related to the Hawaiian Ahupua’a system and resource management methods. Most importantly, they realize the impact and consequences of human activities on reef ecosystems. Student “Peer Ecologists” may work directly with instructors to educate other students on the techniques used in Ocean Pulse. This instills pride and furthers interest in Marine Biology.

Ocean Pulse @ Sea is a drug free marine education program that allows students to learn sailing, safe boating techniques, marine ecology, coral reef monitoring, environmental education, scientific research, and career training from local educators and community members aboard sailing research vessels.

Research Vessels have ports in Hanalei Bay, Nawiliwili Harbor and Port Allen on Kaua’i, for year-round educational programs. These boats have served as research vessel for the following community groups: The Waipa Foundation, The Kaua’i Children’s Discovery Museum, Hawaii International School, Kula High, Intermediate and Elementary, Myron B. Thompson Academy, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Na Pali Coast Ohana, and the Hawai’i Youth Conservation Corp.

Student Involvement: Students and community members are offered different levels of involvement in the program. The first level of the program are activities that center on the boat: fieldtrips, whale watching, snorkeling & SCUBA, marine education, scientific studies, and sailing technique training, anything – simply as an alternative to being somewhere else doing drugs. The next level is a crew trainee position. Student volunteers will learn from qualified professionals how to crew the boat, eventually leading up to the next level, being a qualified or certified crewmember, or USCG captain. These crewmembers are subject to the USCG random drug-testing program, which is the ultimate deterrent to drugs. A person at this level will also be qualified for employment on a charter boat. The program is an alternative and deterrent to drugs, and a positive stepping-stone in the visitor industry on Kauai.

Students are also trained as “ecologist tour guides” by members of Save Our Seas, in ecology, geology, biology and the Hawaiian cultural relatedness to these subjects.

These quality sail training vessels are a unique and productive platform for the young people of Hawaii.  As students participate on the research vessels, they are exposed to ideas in resource conservation by using environmental earth-friendly products and cleaning supplies, alternative energy sources like bio-diesel, and promoting recycling. These vessels are the SOS model for their yearly “SOS Coconut Award.” This award is given to local businesses that use environmental practices. Award winning businesses are chosen by the students.

Ocean Pulse was a success in 1996 and 1997, and is again a success in 2003-2008 at Kula High, Intermediate and Elementary K-12 and 2003 a the Myron B. Thompson Academy on Kaua’i. High school interns serve as peer ecologists and lifeguards!

Ocean Pulse could easily be introduced to island communities throughout the world; to teach the children how to identify creatures, compile marine data, and measure water quality.

REFERENCES for “Ocean Pulse” 1995-2009

Berman, D.S. and Davis-Berman, J. (Aug. 1995). Outdoor education and troubled youth. ERIC Digest (ED385425, RC020276)

Bonwell, C.C. and Eison, J.A. (Jun 1996). Creating excitement in the classroom. ERIC Digest (ED340272)

Caine R.N. and Caine, G. (1994). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

Crandall, J., (Jan.1994), Content-centered language learning. University of Maryland Baltimore County, ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics (ED367142 / FL021841)

Cuevas, M.M., Lamb W.G. and Evans, J.E. Jr. (1994). Holt physical science. Austin: Holt, Rirehart and Winston, Inc.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Dewey, J. (1966). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: The Free Press.

Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind. New York: Basic Books

Gay, L. R. (1996). Educational research, competencies for analysis and application. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Hendrikson, L., (1984). Active learning. ERIC Digest No. 17 (ED253468, SO016166)

Horton, R. L. and Haines, S. (1996). Philosophical considerations for curriculum development in environmental education, ERIC, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, US Department of Education (RI-88062006)

Hungerford, H.R., Litherland, R.A., Peyton, R. B., Ramsey, J.M. and Volk, T.L. (1996). Investigating and evaluating environmental issues and actions: skill development program. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.

Kalinowski, W. (1991). A curriculum outline and rationale for outdoor/Environmental education. ERIC Digest (EJ 431789)

Knapp, C.E. (Aug 1992). Thinking in outdoor inquiry. ERIC Digest (ED348198).

Lorson, M. V., Heimlich, J.E. and Wagner, S. (1996). Integrating science, mathematics, and environmental education: Resources and guidelines. ERIC, Office Of Educational Research and Improvement, US Department of Education (RI-88062006)

Rosebery, A. S., Warren, B. and Conant, F.R. (1992). Appropriating scientific discourse: Findings from language minority classrooms, The National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning (Research Report: 3)

Stepath, C.M. and Chandler, K. (1997). Ocean pulse, coral reef monitoring project. Hanalei, HI: Save Our Seas.

Stevens, P.W. and Richards, A. (Mar 1992). Changing schools through experiential education. ERIC Digest (ED345929)

The Future of Social Studies: A report and summary of project SPAN. Boulder, CO: Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., 1982. ERIC Digest (ED 218 200)

Willis, S. (1997, Winter). Field studies-Learning thrives beyond the classroom. Curriculum Update, p. 1-2, 6-8.

Additional Sources:

*denotes articles that are directly referenced

Alevizon, W. S. and M. B. Brooks. 1975.. The comparative structure of two western Atlantic reef-fish assemblages. Bull. Mar. Sci. Vol. 25t No. 4, p. 482-90.

Bak, R. P. M. 1973. Coral weight increment in situ. A new method to determine coral growth. Mar. Biol., vol. 20, p. 45-90

Bak. R. P. M. 1978. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of dredging on roof coral. Mar. pollution Bull. vol. 9, p. 14-1.

Booth, C. R.; Morrow, J, H. 1990. Measuring ocean productivity via natural fluorescence, Sea Technology, Feb. p- 33-38.

Bortone, S. A.; Hastings, R. W.; Oglesby, J. L. 1986. quantification of reef fish assemblages: a comparison of several in situ methods. Northeast Gulf Sci. Vol. 8, No. 1. P. 1-22.

*Brock. R. E. 1982. A critique of the visual census method for assessing coral reef fish populations. Bull. Mar. Sci. Vol. 32, NO.1, p. 269-76.

*Brock. V. E. 1954. A preliniiary report on a method of estimating reef fish population. J. Wildl. Mgt, Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 297-317.

*Brown, B. E.; Howard, L.S. 1985. Assessing the effect of “stress” on reef corals. Adv. Mar. Biol. 22:1-63.

Carpenter, R. A. Maragos, J.M 1989. How to asress environmental impacts on tropical islands and coastal areas. Honolulu, HI., Environment and Policy Institute East-West Center.

Chamberlin, W. S. ; Booth, C. R.; Kiefer, D.A.; Morrow, J.H.; Murphy, R. C. Evidence for a simple relationship between natural fluorscence, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll in the sea. Deep Sea Research. In press. 1990.

*Christie, H. 1983. Use of video in remote studies of rocky subtidal interactions. Sarsia, Vol. 68, p. 191-94.

D’Elia, C. F.; Taylor, P. R. Disturbances in coral reefs: lessons from Diadema mass mortality and coral bleaching. in: Proceeding: Oceans’ 88, Vol. 3, p. 803-07.

Demartini, E. E.; Roberts, D. 1982. An empirical test of biases in the rapid visual technique for census of reef fish assemblages. Mar. Biol. Vol. 70, p. 129-34.

Department of Health, State of Hawaii. 1989. Apendment and compilation of chapter 11-54 Hawaii Administrative Rules.

*Dodge, R. E.; Logan, A.; Antonfus, A. 1982. Quantitative reef ssegsment studies in Bermuda: a comparison of methods and preliminary results. Bull. Mar. Scl. Vol. 32, No. 3 p. 745-60.

Dudley, W., Hallacher, L. 1989. Hilo Sewage Study. Hilo Hawaii, University of Hawaii Marine Option Program.

Fricke, H. W. 1973b. Behaviour as part of ecological adaptation–In situ studies in the coral reef. Helgolander wissenschaftliche Meersuntersuchunger, Vol. 24, p. 120-44.

*Gamble, J. C. Diving. in: N, A. Holme and A.D. Molntyre, (eds). Methods for the study of marine benthos. Oxford, Blackwell Science Publications. (IBP Handbook no. 16) p. 99-139.

*Hisoock, K. 1979. Systematic surveys and monitoring in nearshore sublittoral areas using diving. In: D. Nichols (ed). Monitoring the marine environment, Symposia of the institute for Biology, 24. Institute of Biology, London, p. 55-74.

Hourigan, T. F.; Tricas, T. C.; Reese, E. S. Coral Reef Fishes as indicators of Environmental Stress in Coral Reefs. In: D. F. Soule and G. S. Kleppel (eds). . Marine organisms as indicators. 1988. New York, Springer-Vorlag.

*Hulburt, A. W.; Pecci, K. J.; Witman, J. D.; Harris, L. G.; Sears, J. R.; Cooper, R. A. Ecosystem definition and community structure of the nacrobenthos of the NEMP monitoring station at Pigeon Hill in the Gulf of Maine. NOAA Tech. Memorandum NMFS-FINEC-14.

Jokiel, P. L.; Maragos, J. W.; and Franzisket, L. 1978. Coral growth buoyant weight technique. In: D. R. Stoddart and R. E Johannes (eds). Coral reefs: research methods. Monographs on oceanographic methodology. UNESCO, Paris. p. 529-42.

Kelleher, G.; Dutton, 1. M. 1985. Environmental effects of offshore tourist developments of the Great Barrier Reef. Proc. 5th. Int. Coral Reef Symp. Tahiti. Vol. 6, p. 525-30.

*Kenchington, R. A. 1978. Visual surveys of large areas of coral reefs. In: D. R. Stoddart and R. E. Johannes (eds). coral reefs: research methods. Monographs in oceanographic methology. UNESCO, Paris. p. 149-62.

Kiefer, D. A; Chamberlin, W. S. 1978. Natural flourescence of chlorophyll a: Relationship to photosynthesis and chlorophyll concentration in the western South Pacific gyre. Limnol. Oceanoqr. Vol. 34, No.5, p. 868-81,

Kuno, W. 1969. A new method of sequential sampling to obtain the population estimates with a fixed level of precision. Res. Popul. Ecol., vol. 11, p.127-360

Loya, Y., 1972. Community Structure and species diversity of hermatypic corals at tilat, Red Sea.,Mar. Biol., Vol. 29, p.177-85,

*Loya, Y., 1978. Plotless and transect methods. Monographs on ceanographic methodology, UNESCO, Paris, 5, 197-217.

Maragos, J. E. 1978. Measurement of water volume transport for flow studies. In: D.R. Stoddart and R.E. Johannes (eds). Coral Reefs,. research methods. Monographs on oceanographic methodology, UNESCO, Paris. p. 353-360.

Marsh, J. A., Jr. , and S. V. Smith. Productivity measurements of coral reefs in flowing water. In: D. R. Stoddart and R. E. Johannes (eds) . Coral reef: research methods. Monographs on oceanographic methodology, UNESCO, Paris. p. 361-378.

*McIntyre, A. D., Elliott, J. M.; Ellis, D. V. 1971. Introduction: design of sampling programmes. In: N. A. Holme and A. D. McIntyre, (ods). Methods for the study of marine benthos. Oxford Blackwell Science Publications (IBP Handbook no. 16) P. 1-27.

Nash. S. V. 1989. Reef diversity index survey method for nonspecialists. Tropical Coastal Area Management, Vol. 4, No. 31 p. 14-17.

*National Marine Fisheries Service. 1-977. Ocean Pulse program development plan, Woods Hole, Mass, Northeast Fisheries Center.

Piclion, M. 1978. Quantitative benthnic ecology of Tulear reefs. In: D. R. Stoddart and R. E. Johannes (eds). Coral reefs: research methods. Monographs on oceanographic methodology UNESCO, Paris. p. 163-74.

Pielou, E. C. 1966. The measurement of diversity in different types of biological Collections. J. Theoretical Biol. Vol. 13, p. 131-44.

Reese, E. S. 1981. Predation of coral by fishes of the family Chaetodontidae: Implications for conservation and management of coral reef ecosystems. Bull. Mar. Sci. Vol.31, No. 3, p. 594-604.

Salm, R. V. and Clark, J. R. 1984. Marine and coastal protected areas: A guide for Planners and Managers. Gland, Switzerland, International Union for conservation of nature and natural resources.

Shannon C. E.; Weaver, W. 1948. The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, 11, Univ. of Ill. Press, p. 1-117.

Stoddart, D. R.; Johannes, R. E. (eds). Coral reefs; research methods. Monographs on oceanographic methodology UNESCO, Paris.

Weinberg, S. 1978. The minimal area problem in invertebrate communities of Mediterranean rocky substrata. Mar. Biol., Vol. 49, p. 33-40.

Weinberg, S. 1981. A comparison of coral reef survey methods. Bijdragen tot de Diefkunde, Vol.-51, p. 199-218.

Witman, J. D. 1985. Refuges, Biological disturbance, and rocky subtidal community structure in New England. Ecol. monogr. Vol. 55, p- 421-45.

*Witman, J.; Coyer, J. 1990 The underwater catalogue: A guide to ethods in underwater research. Ithica, N. Y. Shoals Marine aboratory, Cornell University.

*Ziemann, D. A. 1990. Water quality and marine life monitoring and mitigation plan Kohanakik Resort. Prepared for Nansay Hawaii, Inc. Kamuela, HI.

Anini to Kalihiwai to the Kilauea Lighthouse

The North Shore of Kauai from Anini past Kalihiwai to the Kilauea Lighthouse is one of our favorite spots in the world.  Help us protect it!

New info:

1) Sep 2012 Coral disease – Anini, Kauai

2) Nov 2012, Coral disease – Anini, Kauai

Anini is indeed a special place. As the largest stretch of reef on Kauai, it is home to patch and fringing reefs that grow beneath legendary breaking waves that help protect the inland waters and keep Anini Beach Park calm year round.  The name for the beach fronting Anini Beach Park is Kalihikai and the beach to the west of the park is called Anini.  (References to our survey sites are generally referred to as “Anini”.) Save Our Seas has conducted research at Anini Beach with grades K-12 since 1996 making it the longest coral reef education program of it’s type in the nation.

Anini Beach Park is popular county beach park with a boat ramp, good snorkeling site, and many wind and kite surfers. The beach park is midway along the beach.   The ramp facility in the beach park is for smaller, shallow-draft boats.

The inner reef structure of Anini benthos is primarily unknown.  The sand of Hanalei Bay originates at Anini and is brought to Hanalei by ocean currents.  Anini also has a rare Halophilia sea grass community where turtles can be found grazing.

Anini, Wanini, or Wai-nini? There are many version of this name and the old-timers say that this is its real name.  No one knows what the real name is to this day.

Name translation:  ‘Anini- “stunted or crawfish”,  Wai-nini- “spilled water”, Wanini- “pouring water”

The plant ‘anini  or wānini, Eurya sandwichensis is a small rather glabrous tree in the tea family which occurs more often as a shrub. It usually grows in the in the plains or ridges of the Ahupua‘a.

Wanini was the name of the first road sign… but Hanalei resident Walter Sanborn was mad because the sign was misspelled (should be Wainini) and shot off the W with a shot gun.  However, people started calling the area ‘Anini because they thought the gunman had now corrected the spelling. Residents say the correct name is Wainini, since there were springs in the cliffs that oozed water which dripped down the face of the cliff and could be collected.

Anini is Hawaii’s third largest fringing reef, it is one of the longest and widest fringing reefs in Hawai’i at 2 miles long and 1,600 feet wide at its widest point.  There is a narrow calcareous sand beach inshore of Anini Reef. Early Hawaiians raised taro and fish in ponds constructed along the shoreline. Streams flowed into the fishponds and through the many lo‘i kalo (taro patches) that Hawaiians built to grow their staple food crop. Rice was also grown in this area in the early 1900’s.  One story speaks of “Anini (Wanini) at the seashore there are two stones, Pohaku Aweoweo (big), Pohaku ‘U’u by the sand for fishing.  ”The stone called “Pohaku-alalauwa” lies in the sea between Kalihi-kai and Wanini. When the alalauwa fish was seen to swim partly around this rock it meant that schools of this fish were coming to the shores of this island, but, if they swim all around it then they will go to every island of the group…” www.Kumupono.com

The calm waters, protected shorelines, and many streams feeding into the coastline, provided ideal conditions for the development of shoreline loko i’a (fishponds). Early Hawaiians recognized these favorable conditions and constructed many in coastal areas like this.  Today most of those fishponds have been filled as the coastline was developed. Restored ponds that remain in nearby Waipa remind us of the ingenuity of the Hawaiians who engineered this early form of aquaculture. The old rock walls of the remaining loko iÿa have withstood the elements and many forces of change over time.

The Hawaiians recognized each individual type of wind as having a name, and a personality.  There are hundreds on record for Kauai.  At Anini it is recorded “He Ku ‘ula ka makani o Anini. The Ku-‘ula is the wind of Anini.”  (Pukui)

There is not as much on record for Anini as for other sites in the Archipelago.  Most certainly its crystal clear waters were home to abundant fish and corals, with white sand beaches along the shoreline, as anyone who enjoys Anini Beach Park can attest.   Today the combination of sedimentation, pollution, alien species, overfishing, and marine debris all threaten the health and diversity of the reefs at Anini.

Thanks to the crashing winter waves and strong currents, Anini Reef (and most of Kaua’i) has a high “flushing rate” (open ocean waves keep the water churning and mixing) so nutrients and other pollutants that drain into the sea don’t stay on the corals long enough to do irreparable damage.   In the summertime when surf on the north shore calms down, Anini has a lower flushing rate and the native alga Cladophora appears in large blooms.  Bring your students in May or June to see the full effect of the invasion!

Sediments and Pollutants

Extensive sedimentation of the area began in the 1940s when sugar and pineapple plantations left soil exposed to heavy rainfall. In the 1970s, increased development of the area for homes caused extensive run-off of soil. Channelization of streams to control flooding around the developed areas also increased run-off of soil and nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, during heavy rainfall. Erosion from cattle grazing in upland areas contributes to landslides, which add to the sedimentation and accumulation of nutrients in the water.

Human development also causes pollution of the water from sewage disposal. Many of the homes in the area are constructed with underground septic and/or cesspool tanks which leach raw sewage into the surrounding waters during high tides and periods of heavy rainfall.  This contributes to the buildup of nutrients and sediments on the reef. The nutrient-enriched waters stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, which decreased the clarity of the water. Cladophora spp. also began to grow rapidly during summer months with the increase in nutrients. This algae along with other species of cyanobacteria displaced corals and disrupted the natural balance of the coral reef ecosystem.

Kaua`i has documented intermittent high concentrations of nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, silica, and ammonium) and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB, i.e., enterococci and Escherichia coli) in nearshore waters and spurred concern that contaminated groundwater might be discharging into the bay. [Knee_etal_2008]

Nutrient concentrations in groundwater were significantly higher than in nearshore water, inversely correlated to salinity, and highly site specific. [Knee_etal_2008]

There is an old dump that drains into the first set (East of park) of streams. (interview 09’)

Higher concentration of sedimentation, algal & cyanobacteria growth near the west bathrooms could be caused by:  Polo Fields fertilizers, animal waste runoff, septic/cesspool from the bathrooms, and seepage from private homes in the area who were not required by law to change from cesspool to septic.

It is believed that many Princeville contractors and business owners wash their chemicals, pesticide and other biocide into storm drains which makes it’s way to Anini and beyond.  One person and One Business can make a difference!

When nutrients, such as nitrates from human sewage and lawn, polo field, or golf course fertilizers wash onto the reef, conditions are favorable for the fleshy limu species, such asCladophora to grow more rapidly. In addition, since 1950, there have been 18 different species of limu introduced to O’ahu, some intentionally for aquaculture research, and others accidentally on ship hulls (Russell, 1992).  Some of these species have spread to the outer islands.  Five of those species have become highly invasive, including Acanthophora spicifera, Gracilaria salicornia, Kappaphycus spp., Hypnea musciformis, and Avrainvillea amadelpha(Smith, 2002).

Another factor that contributes to the invasion of limu species and the degradation of the reef is overfishing. The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR/DAR) requires commercial fishers to file fish catch reports, which helps the agency to monitor the resources. DAR reports that there has been a significant decrease in the abundance of inshore marine resources over the past three decades (DLNR/DAR, 2005). When herbivorous fish that help to control the growth of limu are overfished, this affects the balance of the coral reef.   Our goal is to highlight how Kaneohe Bay is severely invaded and with Anini being much like Kaneohe it could someday look like Kaneohe if we are not careful.

Gill Nets

“Lay gill nets are monofilament meshing that can be strung together for hundreds, even thousands of feet and indiscriminately kill huge numbers of fish and other marine life with no regard to species, age, or season. Lay gill nets destroy habitat. They damage coral and sea grass beds, destroy critical nursery, foraging, spawning, and refuge areas for fish and shellfish. At times, massive nets drift away with the current or are forgotten, entangling endangered monk seals, sea turtles, and a range of other marine life. Common practice is to leave nets unattended in nearshore waters for long hours and often overnight. Lay gill nets have severely damaged our coral reef ecosystems and depleted (our) fish stocks” (Kahea, 2006).

In March, 2007, Governor Linda Lingle signed lay gill net restrictions into law. The law:

–Eliminates all lay gill nets around the island of Maui and three much depleted areas on Oÿahu, and restricts use of the nets statewide;

–Prohibits the setting of lay gill nets overnight;

–Limits their length to 125 feet and mesh size;

–Requires nets to be registered and marked;

–Requires that nets not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes (Fair Catch Hawaii).

Marine Debris

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),

Marine debris is typically defined as any man-made object discarded, disposed of, or abandoned that enters the coastal or marine environment. It may enter directly from a ship, or indirectly when washed out to sea via rivers, streams and storm drains”.

“Marine debris is a historical problem that is continuing to grow.  Every year, marine debris injures and kills marine mammals, interferes with navigation  safety, has adverse economic impacts to shipping and coastal industries, and poses a threat to human health.  Our oceans and waterways are constantly polluted with a wide variety of marine debris ranging from soda cans and plastic bags to derelict fishing gear and abandoned.

Ocean Acidification

In addition to all of these threats, the issue of global warming is recognized to have an impact on the acidity of ocean water, which affects coral reefs. Approximately one-third of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning and other human activities is absorbed into the ocean each year. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution the pH (acidity) of the surface water of the oceans has decreased by about 0.1 units (IUCN and TNC, 2008). The reefs are directly affected because the carbon in the carbon dioxide forms carbolic acid in seawater.  Corals need calcium to grow, so with the calcium diminished, coral reef growth declines. If the acidity of the seawater increases past a certain threshold, the calcium in existing reefs can actually be dissolved.

According to the IUCN and TNC report (2008) “The best evidence to date suggests that skeletal growth of most corals will decrease by about 30% once atmospheric CO2 concentration reaches 560 ppm, and that many reefs will shift from a reef-growth to a reef-erosion state before that, particularly where reef-building corals have declined due to bleaching, disease and other factors.”

The beautiful and diverse coral reefs of Anini are an incredible resource that is changing. Unfortunately, the reefs are losing their diversity as invasive limu (algae) species overgrow the corals. At Anini we see a major overgrowth of Cladophora spp. in the summer months.

Gracilaria salicornia, (an introduced invasive) also known as “gorilla ogo” and Dictyosphaeria cavernosa,commonly known as green bubble algae, are native species that have become invasive in Hawai’i. These two are the most successful invaders at Kaneohe Bay.  We do not want to see these come to Kaua’i.   We can compare Anini to Kaneohe to show what happens to a true “invaded” reef, and see the AniniCladophora invasion primarily in May and June.

The factors that lead to algae reef invasions can all be traced back to human activities. The student reading provided with this activity includes a chronology of events that contributed to the invasion of coral reefs by limu species.

In a balanced, healthy reef ecosystem, corals and coralline algae are the dominant species. The fleshy limu are less dominant but they play an important role at the base of the food chain, supporting the diverse species of invertebrates and herbivorous fish that feed on them. When nutrients, such as phosphates from human sewage and lawn or golf course fertilizers wash onto the reef, conditions are favorable for the fleshy limu species to grow more rapidly.

Homes built at Anini, like many places across the state, have cesspools (a hole dug in the ground with a cement top) that overflow during heavy rainstorms carrying sewage to the ocean and also “leak” as the tides go in and out.  Thanks to a recent law passed nationwide by the EPA in 2000, cesspools are no longer being built and must be replaced by plastic septic tanks.

Another factor that contributes to the invasion of limu species is overfishing. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR/DAR) requires commercial fishers to file fish catch reports, which helps the agency to monitor the resources. DAR reports that there has been a significant decrease in the abundance of inshore marine resources over the past three decades (DLNR/DAR 2005). When herbivorous fish (like surgeonfish) that help to control the growth of limu are overfished, this affects the balance on the coral reef. When overfishing is combined with excessive nutrients from human activities on land, the stage is set for invasion.

Since 1950, there have been 18 different species of limu introduced to O’ahu, some intentionally for aquaculture research and others accidentally on ship hulls (Russell, 1992).  Five of those species have become highly invasive, and have spread to the outer islands, including Kauai.

Key Events:

•1940 – Sugar and pineapple plantations left exposed soil that washed into bay during heavy rains.

•1959 – Konohiki (local fishing rights) change as Hawaii becomes a state of the union.

•Princeville Ranch obtains a lease 2500 acres of land near Anini, severely eroding the hills by cattle grazing causing more sedimentation on the reef as soil and nutrients wash down to the sea.

•There is an old dump that drains into the first set of streams.

•To the East Kalihiwai valley and homes of Kalihiwai Ridge “drain” to Kalihiwai River.

•Cesspools dug during land development leach raw sewage into the surrounding watershed during heavy rainfall.

•Boat ramp has potential pollution impacts.

  1. •Human population growth in the area increased. Land cleared for houses and roads, causing more sedimentation.
  2. •Golf Courses are built above Anini
  3. •1983 – Kauai Polo Club began holding events at Anini field (above Anini Beach Park) that contribute to run-off of soil and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates.

•2000 – EPA passes a law nationwide for the outlaw of cesspools in favor of septic tanks.



Alien and Invasive Algae in Hawaiÿi. 2000. Hawaiÿi Coral Reef Initiative Research Program. University of Hawaiÿi at Mänoa, Department of Botany. Retrieved June 2, 2005, fromhttp://www.botany.hawaii.edu/GradStud/smith/websites/Alien-Summary.htm (Have students select Marine Plant Research, Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative, to view information on the invasive algal species pages.)

Berg, Carl – Local Expert Oral Interview

Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR/DAR). 2005. Marine Protected Areas In Hawaiÿi. A supplement published by the Custom Publishing Group of the Honolulu Advertiser. March 9, 2005. Honolulu, HI.

Eldredge, Lucias G. and C.M. Smith. (eds). 2001. A Guidebook of Introduced Marine Species in Hawai‘i. Bishop Museum Technical Report 21, Bishop Museum Press. Honolulu, HI.

Fair Catch Hawaii. March, 2007. Press Release. Governor Signs Lay Gill Net Restrictions into Law. Retrieved on October 10, 2008, from http://www.faircatchhawaii.org/pressrelease

Hawaii Water Environment Association HWEA). No Date. Impacts of the Clean Water Act in Hawaii. Retrieved December 28, 2006, from www.hwea.org/cleanwtr.htm

Johnson, Rubellite Kawena. 1981. Kumulipo, The Hawaiian Hymn of Creation. Vol. 1. TopGallant Publishing Co., LTD. Honolulu, HI.

Jokiel, Paul L. Jokiel’s Illustrated Scientific Guide to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. Hawaiÿi Institute of Marine Biology. Retrieved May 20, 2005 from http://cramp.wcc.hawaii.edu/

KAHEA. 2006. The Hawaiian Community Alliance. Retrieved January 25, 2006, from http://actionnetwork.org/KAHEA/alert-description.tcl?alert_id=3750413

Kamakau, Samuel M. 1991. Tales and Traditions of the People of Old: Nä Moÿolelo a ka Poÿe Kahiko.  Bishop Museum Press. Honolulu, HI.

Kawaharada, Dennis. © 1999-2006. Kapi’olani Community College. Traditions of Oÿahu: Stories of an Ancient Island. Retrieved May 20, 2005 fromhttp://apdl.kcc.hawaii.edu/~oahu/stories/koolaupoko/chiefs.htm

This website, developed by Dennis Kawaharada, provides legends, site maps, the names of winds, rains, the ahupuaÿa, and general information about the island of Oÿahu.

Knee, Karen L., Layton, Blythe A., Street, Joseph H., Boehm, Alexandria B., Paytan, Adina. Accepted: 28 May 2008.

Sources of Nutrientsand Fecal Indicator Bacteria to Nearshore Waters on the North Shore of Kauai’iCoastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2008

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2007. Marine Debris ProgamProgram. Retrieved February 12, 2007, from http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/

Pukui, Mary Kawena. 1983. ‘Ölelo No’eau Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings.  Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication No. 71. Bishop Museum Press., Honolulu HI.

Pukui, M.K. and Elbert, S.H. 1986. Hawaiian Dictionary. Revised and Enlarged Edition. University of Hawaiÿi Press. Honolulu, HI.

Russell, Dennis J. 1992. The Ecological Invasion of Hawaiian Reefs by Two Marine Red Algae, Acanthophora spicifera (Vahl) Boerg. and Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J. Ag., and their association with two native Laurencia nidifica J. Ag. and Hypnea cervicornis J. Ag. ICES Marine Science Symposia.. Copenhagen. 194: 110-125.

Save Our Seas (SOS).  2009. Ocean Pulse Manual www.saveourseas.org

Smith, Jennifer and Eric Co. Alien Marine Algae in the Hawaiian Islands. 2002. Hawaiÿi Coral Reef Initiative Research Program. University of Hawaiÿi at Mänoa, Department of Botany.. Retrieved December 29, 2006, fromwww.botany.hawaii.edu/GradStud/smith/invasive/BROCHURE.htm

University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). 2001. Coastal Intensive Site Network (CISNet) Kaneohe Bay. Retrieved December 27, 2006 fromwww.hawaii.edu/cisnet/contents.htm

Kukui’ula, Lawai, Koloa

Please Respect local fisherman and do not damage the coral reefs on which they survive!

Mahalo to the many organizations and agencies

that make this information possible!

Lawai Bay is the perfect spot for a Marine Protected Area.

Get involved in making this a reality!

Lawai Valley is home to the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) Headquarters and the McBryde & Allerton Gardens. At the base of this valley lies the naturally protected Bay of Lawai Kai. Endangered monk seals and green sea turtles can be found resting on shore and in the tranquil water. This naturally protected area is very close to the highly popular areas of Poipu, Koloa Landing, Kukui’ula dCASevelopment, and Lawai Beach Resort (Beach House).

Coral Reefs Must Be Protected and Sustainable Solutions exist! Businesses and Developers can now work together with the community to ensure care of native resources. Our Friends at Kukui’ula Resort, Kaua’i’s Living Garden, imagine a new Kaua’i community helping to protect open space, the ocean, archeological sites, biological preserves and dramatic landforms. A vision of Sustainable development practices that can lead to great things for this unique highly diverse coastal habitat.

The Living Garden and The Living Reef

Imagine unique Community Partnerships where awareness of natural resources is a necessary way of life to keep Kauai’s Living Garden and Living Reef healthy for our families!

The goal of Hawaii’s Living Reef program is to raise public awareness of the importance and interconnectedness of the coral reef ecosystem to Hawaii’s lifestyle and to teach and encourage positive behaviors that will protect and nurture this life-giving natural resource.

Science For Any Occasion:


Algae: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/GradStud/smith/CRAMP/Team-Kauai-Quant.htm

Ho’ai 2000 http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/archive/arc0001/0000961/01-version/data/0-data/exabyte2/cd23/

Ho’ai 99 http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/archive/arc0001/0000671/01-version/data/0-data/data/cd22/

Hawaii Coastal Erosion Website Shoreline Study of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/publications/hawaiiCoastline/kauai.html

The following are potential locations for benthic monitoring transects in the adjacent area of the Kukui’ula development. These locations account for potential runoff from the proposed golf location bordering the coastline as well as major commercial development inland from the coast.

Transect locations:

•East side of Lawai Bay (follow coastline) – 14th hole run off

•West of Spouting Horn – 15th hole run off: down current where pollution would accumulate in the benthic sediment and reefs.

•East of Kukui’ula Small Boat Harbor, where road runs along coast – South of proposed “Plantation House” community centerpiece; it has an existing drainage ditch to divert the flow of runoff toward Kukui’ula Bay (small boat harbor). Just outside of the bay in the direction of the current.

•Cross section of bay and around Nahumaalo Pt., where Waikomo Stream meets bay – South of proposed “Kukui’ula Village” shopping center (can access from Hoonani Rd. at Koloa Boat Canoe Landing)
Kukui’ula is a Hawaiian word meaning “red light” (source). The anglicized version (Kukuiula) is the name of a land area, a bay, and a park on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i. The State of Hawaii operates a small boat harbor on Kaua’i also using the name Kukui’ula (source). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes Kukui’ula as the name of the habitat of the endangered Kaua‘i Cave Arthropods Adelocosa anops(Kaua‘i Cave Wolf Spider), and Spelaeorchestia koloana (Kaua‘i Cave Amphipod). (source1)(source2)(source3).  In Hawaiian mythology, Kukui’ula was the demon-wife of Waiolola who lived near Kipahulu on Maui, Hawaii. From the mythology comes the names Kukui’ula Gulch and Kukui’ula Stream on the island of Maui. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also has a rainfall gauge on Kaua’i by that name. Furthermore,  Kukui’ula is also the name of a public street near Koko Head on the island of Oahu, Hawaii (source).

The Coral Reef is found at the Genesis of the Hawaiian Creation Chant!

“Hanau Ka ‘Uku-ko’ako’a, Hanau Kana, he Ako’ako’a, puka.”

“Born the coral polyp, born of him a coral colony emerged.”

From Kumulipo The Hawaiian Chant of Creation


  1. VIDEO – OCEAN PULSE:  Ha’ena Kaua’i Marine Monitoring
  2. New Poster On Ha’ena Reefs from the Conservation Council for Hawaii:  ‘E‘ena Ha‘ena I Ka ‘Ehu Kai – Fierce Is Ha‘ena In The Sea Spray – http://conservehi.org
  3. VIDEO-Burial Desecration at Naue Makua (Tunnels) to Ke’e: North Shore, Kaua’i:  Ke’e and Makua Beaches are some of the most pristine coral reefs found in Hawaii. These reefs are home to many protected Green Sea Turtles, and the beaches are a haven for the endangered monk seals. These beaches are heavily impacted by visitors.Because of their limited access, the nearby costal ecosystems fronting the survey sites have remained relatively unspoiled as compared to the surrounding Kauai beaches. Here we find a rare opportunity to research the surrounding near shore waters and promote Community Marine Managed Areas.Management of Natural Marine Resources Promotes Healthy Ecosystems!Science For Any Occasion:GPS:
  4. http://www.kaimi.org/heiau.htm

    Limahuli, Kauai

    22o 13.489’ N

    159o 34.755’ W

    Ha’ena / Ka’ili’o Point, Kauai
    22° 13.318″ N

    159° 35.020″ W

    KE’E Visitor SCUBA ENTRY

    Map Sat

    GPS: KA1403



    Makau Visitor SCUBA Entry

    Map Sat

    GPS: KA1304




    SOS Kee_report_update_9-06.pdf


    Limahuli Graphs 2003 022204.pdf


    Ha’ena: Through the Eyes of Ancestors by Carlos Andrade

    LIMAHULI 2000http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/archive/arc0001/0000961/01-version/data/0-data/exabyte3/cd26/

    Limahuli 1999http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/archive/arc0001/0000671/01-version/data/0-data/data/cd23/

    LIMU: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/HCRI/CrampWhap/Kaualimahuli.htm

    Hawaii Coastal Erosion Website Shoreline Study of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/asp/coasts/kauai/index.asp




    PHYSICOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF LIMAHULI STREAM, KAUAI  Amadeo S. Timbol Michael H. Kido Donald E. Heacock; December 1989 <http://www.hawaii.edu/hsrc/home/timbolsv.htm>

    Geology:  The north coast, east of Hanalei, was thoroughly covered by rejuvenated lavas of the Koloa Volcanic Series and Koloa lavas make up the backshores of the modern beaches in this area.

    The shoreline from Anahola to Ha‘ena is fronted extensively by large segments of fringing reefcut by paleostream channels. This shoreline is composed of a series of coarse-grained calcareous sandy beaches separated by rocky points and interspersed with small stretches of boulder coast and numerous embayments.http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/publications/hawaiiCoastline/kauai.html


    http://www.pacificworlds.com/haena/stories/story2.cfm Pohaku-o-Kane

    WHERE LOHI’AU RULED: EXCAVATIONS AT HA’ENA, HALELE’A, KAUA’I.  P. Bion Griffin University of Hawaii


    See Ke’e http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59JtvWQBC4s

    Watershed-Scale Comparisons of Algal Biodiversity in High-Quality Proximate Hawaiian Stream Ecosystems; Pacific Science – Volume 56, Number 4, October 2002, pp. 431-440 Sherwood, Alison R.; Kido, Michael H.
    University of Hawai’i Press  Abstract: The stream macroalgal floras of two proximate, high-quality stream valleys (Hanaka¯pı¯‘ai and Limahuli) located on the northern quadrant of the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i were inventoried and compared on a watershed scale, providing interesting insight into Hawai‘i’s potential taxonomic diversity and the influential role played by physical factors in shaping community characteristics. A total of 26 species of macroalgae (five Cyanophyta, 18 Chlorophyta, one Rhodophyta, and two Chromophyta) was identified, of which only eight were common to both streams. Chlorophyta composed the majority of macroalgal taxa identified (63.2% in Hanaka¯pı¯‘ai Stream and 66.7% in Limahuli Stream). Three macroalgal species are new records for Hawai‘i and one (Chamaesiphon curvatus var. elongatum Nordst.) is a Hawaiian endemic. Significant differences in the macroalgal densities between Hanaka¯pı¯‘ai and Limahuli Streams (Chlorophyta versus Chromophyta, respectively) were attributed to measured differences in riparian canopy cover (34.8% versus 70.0% closed, respectively). Significantly lower densities of macroalgal species in riffle-run habitats in Hanaka¯pı¯‘ai as compared with Limahuli Stream were potentially explainable by ‘‘top-down’’ control by robust populations of native herbivorous fish…

    Please Visit and support NTBG

    The long term health of our families and our community is at stake. It is up to each one of us to make sure that our resources are plentiful.  Save Our Seas.

    One person can make a difference.



There are many inputs, from many sources, over many years, that directly impact this reef.  Please do your part to protect it.

Reports & Info:

Community Based Monitoring:  A comparison of Ocean Pulse vs. Reef Check Pu’u Poa – SOS:  Save_Our_Seas_OP-RC-Compare-CComfort100407

The first Reef Check in the world was in Hanalei in 1997!

Using Reef Check for long-term Coral Reef Monitoring In Hawaii:     UsingRCforLongTermMonitoringInHIstepathHodgson

Water Data Reports for the Hanalei River

Hanalei River : an American Heritage Designated River

Hanalei Rain Gage at Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Coastal Geology Group

Kauai Hawaii Weather Forecast and Surf Report

Kauai Farmer’s & Produce Markets

FROM CRAMP:  Friedlander AM and Brown EK (2005). Hanalei benthic communities since 1992: spatial and temporal trends in a dynamic Hawaiian coral reef ecosystem.

Hawai‘i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-003. University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. 32 pp., incl. 16 figures & 4 tables.

From CRAMP:  Brown EK (2006) Hanalei Benthic Trends.


From USGS.gov: Science and Management in the Hanalei Watershed: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach

Edited By Michael E. Field, Carl J. Berg, and Susan A. Cochran

Download this report as a 97 page PDF file (of2007-1219.pdf; 6.7 MB).

From USGS.gov:  Data Series 289: Sedimentary Properties of Shallow Marine Cores Collected in June and September 2006, Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawai’i

Description: Sedimentary facies, short-lived isotopes […], and magnetic properties of sediment cores in Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, were used to assess sediment sources and patterns of deposition associated with seasonal flooding of the Hanalei River. Sediment cores were collected from the seafloor in June and September of 2006 to supplement similar data collected during the summer of 2005.
updated: 2007-10-02
From USGS.gov:  Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii, Part II, Tracking Recent Fluvial Sedimentation; Isotope Stratigraphy Obtained in Summer 2005Description: Delivery and dispersal of fluvial sediment in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii, have important implications for the health of local coral reefs. The reef community in Hanalei Bay represents a relatively healthy ecosystem. However, the reefs are periodically stressed by storm waves, and increases in sediment and dissolved substances from the Hanalei River have the potential to cause additional stress. Increased turbidity and sedimentation on corals during Hanalei River floods that occur in seasons of low wave energy, when sediment would not be readily remobilized and advected out of the bay, could affect the health and sustainability of coral reefs and the many associated species.
updated: 2006-08-04
From USGS.gov:  Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Part I, Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity; June – August, 2005 Description: High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kaua’i, Hawaii, during the summer of 2005 to better understand coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in coral reef habitats.
updated: 2006-08-04

From USGS.gov:  Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii, Part III, Studies of Sediment ToxicityDescription: In this study purple-spined sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) fertilization and embryological development porewater toxicity tests were used to evaluate the sediments collected from the coastal environment around Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i, Hawaii. These tests have been used previously to assess the bioavailability of contaminants associated with sediments in the vicinity of coral reefs.
updated: 2006-08-04