Researchers observe coral reef damage, invasive alga in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
NOAA and partner scientists recently completed a 22-day expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They were surveying and monitoring coral reefs and associated reef fish communities, and searching for new species and habitat types on deep coral reefs. While conducting research dives, they observed reef destruction from Hurricane Walaka at French Frigate Shoals, and an invasive alga overgrowing native corals and other algae at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Monument staff are now working to understand and respond to these impacts to the monument.
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