The breathtaking color and beauty of Hawaii’s coral reefs are a significant draw for tourists. Many of the more adventurous travelers go snorkeling to see its majesty for themselves. If you want to enhance your experience and gain a full appreciation of the islands’ coral reefs, brush up on your marine education before you go with these fascinating facts.
5 Marine Education Facts About the Hawaii Coral Reefs
1. Corals Are Animals
Contrary to popular belief, corals aren’t plants. They are living animals that must eat to grow and reproduce. The parts of the coral that feeds, known in marine education as polyps, primarily dine on zooplankton, dissolved organic material, and nutrients from algae. Plus, coral reefs provide a habitat for about 25% of marine species.
2. Hawaii Has Thousands of Acres of Reef
The Hawaii coral reef ecosystem is a massive structure. Accounting for just the main islands, there are 410,000 acres (640.6 square miles) of living coral reefs. A majority of them are located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Over 60% of the nation’s coral resides in the Hawaiian Island chain.
3. Many Inhabitants Are Exclusive to Hawaii
The vastness of Hawaii’s coral reefs makes them a valuable home for a diverse assortment of species. More than 25% of all Hawaii’s marine fish, invertebrates, and plants are endemic to Hawaii.
4. Hawaiian Reefs Protect the Islands
Reefs are vital not only to marine life, but also to terrestrial life. Hawaiian coral reefs protect the islands by decreasing the energy and impact of large waves, preventing significant damage and erosion to coastlines.
5. It Is the Largest Conservation Area in the US
In 2000, a Presidential Executive Order designated a 1,200 mile stretch of reefs off the coast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a nature preserve. Known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, it is the largest conservation area that the US has ever created.
Learn more about the captivating coral reefs of Hawaii on the exciting boat tours at Dolphin Excursions Hawaii. While traversing the clear blue waters on the west coast of Oahu, you’ll gain extensive marine education from their staff of marine biologists and naturalists. Take your newfound knowledge with you as you go snorkeling through the lively coral reefs. To book an unforgettable dolphin discovery or whale watching experience today, call (808) 239-5579 or visit their website.