The Latest: Environmentalist: Hawaii coral steps ambitious

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Posted: Sep 08, 2016 7:53 PM
The Latest: Environmentalist: Hawaii coral steps ambitious

KANEOHE, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on the state of Hawaii's plan to address coral bleaching (all times local):

2 p.m.

The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii's marine science director says the state's new plan to help coral reefs fight bleaching is ambitious.

Eric Conklin says the proposals face a long road to approval through a public process. He says the state will need to get feedback from the community.

Conklin says he's excited and encouraged that the state is taking on the issue and that it recognizes it needs to think strategically about addressing coral bleaching.

Warmer ocean temperatures have forced Hawaii's coral to expel algae they rely on for food for the past two summers. Some of the corals have died as a result.

It's a serious concern for the health of the ocean because coral reefs provide habitat for fish and other marine life, scientists say.

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1 p.m.

Hawaii state officials are proposing measures to help corals recover from bleaching.

State Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Bruce Anderson said Thursday the state aims to establish a network of marine protected areas that don't allow fishing.

It also wants to set limits on catching parrotfish and other fish that keep coral reefs healthy by eating algae.

Another proposal is to control polluted runoff from land.

Warmer ocean temperatures have forced Hawaii's coral to expel algae they rely on for food for the past two summers. Some of the corals have died as a result.

The state will hold public hearings on the proposals.

Anderson says the coral bleaching crisis presents an opportunity to make a difference in the management of Hawaii's fisheries near shorelines.

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12 a.m.

Hawaii officials plan to unveil a plan to cope with coral bleaching that's threatening the state's reefs.

Warmer ocean temperatures have stressed Hawaii's coral, forcing them to expel algae they rely on for food. Vast stretches of reef have turned white, increasing the risk that the coral will get sick and die.

It's a serious concern for the health of the ocean because coral reefs provide habitat for fish and other marine life.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it's been working on a coral bleaching recovery plan that it expects to release on Thursday.

Officials have been investigating the world's best practices for promoting coral recovery. Department teams are also documenting the extent and scope of coral bleaching in Hawaii.