Research Mission to Study Nuisance Alga
In summer of 2023, researchers conducted a 23-day expedition in Papahānaumokuākea aboard the 220 ft. vessel Kahana II. The primary mission was to study the nuisance alga, Chondria tumulosa that was discovered in the monument in 2016 and is overgrowing some of the most pristine coral reefs in Hawai‘i. They found the first confirmed record of Chondria at Hōlanikū, or Kure Atoll ─ the furthest extent of the monument, about 1,350 miles from Honolulu. Chondria is now known to exist at all three northernmost atolls of the monument.