Monday, March 25, 2013

Hanauma Bay

 Hanauma Bay is a park located east of Honolulu an the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu. The bay was formed when one side of an extinct volcano collapsed allowing sea water to flood in and fill the cone. The bay was purchased from a private estate back in the early 1900's. In the 1930's the road that leads past the bay was paved making it more accessible, however after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 the bay was closed.
 After the war Hanauma Bay was reopened and became more popular then ever. In 1956 parts of the coral reef in the bay were cleared with dynamite to lay telephone cables linking Hawaii to the mainland. This and other changes in the 1970's opened up room for swimming. By the 1980's the number of people visiting the beach each year was in the millions. Visitors, who often did not know any better, were walking on the reef, trampling coral and algae, and littering. The water in the bay was filled suntan oil and other chemicals. This abuse destroyed the colorful coral of the bay and left behind a dead , blackened reef.
Fortunately thing have gotten better. Visitor numbers are limited to help prevent over crowding on the beach. The park is closed one day a week to give the wildlife a break from nosy tourists. A marine education center was erected in 2002 to help educate the public about the flora, fauna, and habitat.  New visitors are required to watch a short film about conservation of the bay. Tin order to reflect the change in priorities the name was changed from Hanauma Bay Beach Park to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Sea life has returned and has begun to thrive again and new live coral has begun to grow, second photo.


islandwonder said...

Such beautiful water! Nice pics!

Fun60 said...

It is so good to hear that the island has managed to turn things around and preserve the coral.

Randi said...

Very interesting´s fascinating how the public are educated about this place and that the coral has begun to grow!