Archives for October 2015

El Niño: Will It Hurt Coral Reefs?

You’ve probably heard about it in the news. You may even remember living through it in the early 80s and 90s. El Niño is here. It's already impacting the Pacific Ocean and this August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) saw variances in sea surface temperatures near or greater than 2.0 degrees Celsius. El Niño refers to warming waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Those warmer waters spread to the east, bringing with them a drastic change in weather patterns. Scientists predict that this year's El Niño is extreme and may last through the spring of 2016. That means trouble for coral reefs. In fact, NOAA recently announced that "bleaching due to heat stress is expected to impact approximately 38 percent of the world’s coral reefs—and almost 95% of those in U.S. waters." When water temperatures grow too warm, corals become stressed and oust the tiny algae that live in their tissues, called zooxanthellae. … [Read more...]

Maui Students Learn to Protect Their Watershed

Going back to school is always hard. Back to homework, waking up early and sitting in a classroom all day. But imagine going back to school and learning about real local issues, and then learning real life skills and using them to solve actual problems in your community. That’s what students in Mr. Ryan Duffy’s class went back to this year. Mr. Duffy teaches sixth through eighth grade math and science at ROOTS school in Haiku on Maui, Hawaiʻi. Last October he came to CORAL’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) workshop and learned how to teach his students about the importance of watersheds in a way that's fun and exciting. He's applying those skills, and his students are completely engaged! Soon after the workshop, Mr. Duffy’s students started designing a system to capture rain water off their school’s rooftop. They collected data to determine the average rainfall for their region, and measured the surface area of the … [Read more...]