[Coral-List] Bleaching on Oahu, Hawaii

Cindy Hunter cindyh at hawaii.edu
Tue Oct 7 00:39:55 EDT 2014

A coral bleaching event is developing on Oahu, Hawaii, as reported to the
State’s Eyes of the Reef website on September 21st, 2014. This is the first
major coral bleaching event in the Main Hawaiian Islands since 1996 and is
impacting 60-90% of all dominant coral species in near-shore shallow waters
of windward Oahu (primarily, in order of apparent sensitivity: Pocillopora
damicornis, Pocillopora meandrina, Montipora capitata, Montipora spp.,
Porites evermanni, P. lobata, and P. compressa). Additional reports of
coral bleaching from around the State include the Northwestern Hawaiian
Islands, as well as other sites on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island (Hawaii).
Seawater temperatures in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu (NOAA station Moku O Loe) peaked
at 30.2° on 9-20-14, and have cooled a bit but still hover around 29°, 2
degrees above the seasonal average for these waters.  Calm sea conditions
(=high light penetration) prevail and predictions of continued warm waters
are forecasted for the next 4-6 weeks.

Cynthia Hunter, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
2450 Campus Road, Dean 108
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-4748

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