Nature Conservancy Taking On Bay’s Algae

The McInerny Foundation is taking Kaneohe Bay’s coral problem seriously, and it has just put more than a quarter-million dollars toward its restoration.

The Nature Conservancy received the $275,000 grant – the largest ever awarded by the foundation for an environmental project – and it intends to launch “an ambitious, multi-year project to clear invasive algae from Kaneohe Bay,” said TNC executive director Suzanne Case.

The work will start at the north end of the bay and be done in partnership with the state and the University of Hawaii, expanding on similar, successful efforts at Maunalua Bay and other work since 2006. Official title is Kaneohe Bay Reef Restoration Project.

The largest bay in the main Hawaiian Islands, Kaneohe Bay is unique for its fringing, patch and barrier reef systems of coral. Invasive algae, overharvesting and land-based pollution have drastically reduced these resources, however.

TNC points to the need to monitor the flow of sediment into the bay and supports ongoing community work in the Heeia ahupuaa to restore fishponds and plant taro to strengthen the wetlands’ role as sediment traps.