Lawsuits and Floating Workshops Give Promise to Hawaii Reefs

Floating workshop. Photo by Amanda Stone

On May 30, 2014, a federal court ruling found the County of Maui, which operates the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility, to be in violation of the Clean Water Act. This ruling was in relation to injection wells which the County uses to dispose of treated wastewater effluent. The effluent travels underground through groundwater, and percolates up into coastal coral reefs of West Maui through submarine springs (seeps). This inflow of warm, nutrient rich, and oxygen poor water is negatively impacting these reefs. Although CORAL was not a party to this particular lawsuit, which was filed by several environmental groups, we are equally concerned about how this acute water pollution issue is harming the reefs. CORAL, along with other conservation organizations, has been working with the County, the accommodations industry, and local community members to address this issue by encouraging the reuse of this treated water as an … [Read more...]

Preparing the Pacific Region for CITES Shark Protections

Participants at the CITES workshop in Fiji, February 2014. Photo by CORAL staff

On February 11 and 12, 2014, in Nadi, Fiji, The Pew Charitable Trusts, CORAL, and the Fiji Government hosted the Oceania Follow-up Regional Workshop on the Implementation of CITES Appendix II Shark Listings. With representatives from 11 countries in the Pacific and over 60 participants and observers, significant progress was made toward ensuring these newly listed species--oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, the porbeagle shark, and two species of manta rays--achieve the protection they desperately need. The workshop kicked off in traditional Fijian fashion with an opening welcome from Mr. Samuela Namosimaluaa, Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, as well as with a video message from the CITES Secretary General Mr. John Scanlon. The panel included Imogen Zethoven, Director of Global Shark Conservation for The Pew Charitable Trusts acting as … [Read more...]

Social Science in Coral Reef Conservation

The author meeting with community members in Fiji over kava. Photo by CORAL staff

The social sciences have historically been more intertwined with terrestrial conservation than with their marine counterpart. The notion of incorporating social science into conservation efforts began with the concept of Integrated Conservation and Development Programs (ICDPs), which aimed to simultaneously meet development and conservation goals. While the results of these projects were mixed, it remains a commonly used concept, carried out under the more commonly known term of  “community-based natural resource management” or “community-based conservation." Through these programs, conservation groups, particularly in the developing world, are increasingly incorporating social needs into their strategies. Socially integrative concepts like co-management, Territorial Use Rights Fisheries (TURFs), and Rapid Assessment techniques are now more prevalent in coral reef conservation as well. All of these structures and tools incorporate … [Read more...]