Maunalua Bay Restoration Project
The Maunalua Bay Restoration Project is a community-based, NOAA-funded project headed by The Nature Conservancy in cooperation with scientists, resource managers, and state and federal agencies working with the non-profit group Mālama Maunalua to restore and conserve Maunalua Bay. Dr. Robert Richmond and his graduate students are active contributors to the Maunalua Bay Restoration Project, providing scientic support towards the project goal to restore the habitat of the reef flats in Maunalua Bay through the manual removal of an invasive mud weed (Avrainvillea amaldelpha) which has infested most of the bay's shallow reef flats, critically affecting the habitat of endemic reef fish and Hawaiian seagrasses, and threatened or endangered marine animals.
In addition to the restoration of the reef, Dr. Richmond and others are actively seeking to conserve the bay by working with the Army Corps of Engineers towards solutions to mitigate the effects of sediment runoff from the watershed drainage system in the area, which essentially buries and suffocates the natural reef ecosystem, easing the way for invasive species to take over. This project also includes public education efforts to inform the community of ways to help restore and conserve their recreational resource. Read more about the Maunalua Bay Restoration Project.
Founded in 2010 by three post-doctoral researchers from the Kewalo Marine Laboratory (Dr. Eric Roettinger, Dr. Mattias Ormestad, and Dr. Aldine Amiel), the non-profit organization Kahi Kai (meaning "one ocean" in Hawaiian) promotes communication and interaction between students, scientists and everyone who is interested and committed to the fascinating, mysterious and endagered marine world. One of the goals is to make complex biological data easily accessible to both research professionals and students, but also to the interested general public. For that, Kahi Kai develops scientific tools (e.g., a comparative gene expression database), captures photographs of sea creatures that can be used for scientific as well as educational purposes, and participates in workshops and lectures at various educational levels.
Kahi Kai is also responsible for the macro photography platform on the scientific 3-year Tara Oceans expedition, where Kahi Kai will document marine biodiversity in various places around the globe. During the first year of that expedition, our members joined the research schooner in the Mediteranean sea (Naples to Malta), the Red sea (Djibouti) and the Indian Ocean (Maledives to Mauritius, Mayotte). For more information, please visit the Kahi Kai website.