Due to the unique location and tropical climate in Hawaii, aquatic activities, like surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving, are fun things to do individually or with a group of friends. The underwater world is a delicate environment, teeming with thousands of fish, some of which only live in Hawaiian water and coral reefs. Here are a few surprising facts about coral reefs to keep in mind the next time you head to the water.
3 Surprising Facts About Hawaii's Coral Reefs
1. They’re Alive
Coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea as the unique shape and patterns of coral heads look like small underwater trees. You might not see them moving, but coral reefs are alive and growing, and there are over 410,000 acres of living reefs near the Hawaiian Islands. They’re able to eat, reproduce, and grow like trees.
2. They’re an Ecosystem
Hawaii’s coral reefs are home to over 7,000 species of marine plants and animals,1,200 of which are endemic, like the yellow tang. They’re also home to 500 species of algae, a crucial food source for the ocean’s animal life.
3. They’re in Danger
Coral reefs are dying as a result of climate change and pollutants dumped into ocean waters. More than half of the world’s coral reefs are considered unhealthy, and their illness is likely to worsen. You can be proactive about coral reef health by using reef-safe sunscreen whenever you’re swimming, surfing, or enjoying other fun things to do in the water.
If you’re interested in learning more about the coral reefs, visit LahAina Surf Shack on Maui, HI. Located in Lahaina, this locally owned and operated surf school employs experienced ocean educators who are happy to share their knowledge. They also provide locals and tourists fun things to do like surf, paddleboard, and stand-up paddle boarding lessons. Their CPR-certified team offers private and semi-private lessons for all skill levels as well as 24-hour board rentals with each lesson. If you’re looking for new, aquatic things to do, send a message online or call (808) 661-2700 to schedule a class.