Over the last two weeks, Kirsten and Kalani have been out in the field, conducting fish and benthic surveys with our marine monitoring team in Kaʻūpūlehu on Hawaiʻi Island.
As great as it was to be back in the water, there was just one big thing putting a damper on all the excitement. All the bleached coral! With ocean temperatures, at what could be an all time high ranging from 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit, along the west coast of Hawaiʻi island, the team couldn’t believe their eyes or their wetsuits.
All the warnings of coral bleaching came to a haunting reality as the team completed over 150 dives spanning three weeks. The extent of the bleaching event was unprecedented but there are hopes of resilient colony’s continued survival through this last push of warm water temperatures.