UPDATE: From 2009-2012, we operated as a project of the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program. UH Sea Grant closed the program in early 2013. We are currently exploring options for re-activating the program in some capacity.

In the Fall of 2010, Reef Watch Waikīkī received a small grant from NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office to develop a citizen science monitoring program to educate community residents on marine resource issues, raise awareness of the need for ecological monitoring, and provide skill-building opportunities related to marine survey techniques.

The primary monitoring site is the Waikīkī Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), a small no-take marine protected area on the south shore of O’ahu.

This blog was established to share results of nearshore reef monitoring activities and enable project volunteers to post interesting observations captured during snorkel surveys in the Waikīkī MLCD.

Reef Watch Waikīkī is one component of a larger project coordinated by the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant Program, the Waikīkī Ecosystem Restoration Project.  Through a suite of coastal monitoring, ocean education and stewardship activities, the project builds community capacity to protect, and eventually work towards restoration of, the marine resources of Waikīkī. This includes informal education and training activities targeting residents, visitors, and visitor industry staff, as well as environmental monitoring conducted by community volunteers and students in cooperation with state and federal agencies. Given the ‘gateway’ characteristic of Waikīkī, knowledge gained by participants in Waikīkī is expected to be carried with them and influence their behavior when they visit other coastal sites, creating a cumulative benefit for reefs statewide.

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