Anini Reef, Kauai.
When I first visited the North Shore in 2009, Don Maurer, a Princeville 2 resident shares, I remember the magical experience of snorkeling Anini Reef. I was amazed at the colorful coral and other creatures I saw, including sea turtles, tropical fish and Moray eels. Looking around me as I swam in the warm blue water, I felt like I was in paradise. When I returned in 2018, things had changed. The coral was covered with a shaggy overgrowth of algae and the fish and turtles were fewer and less colorful. I wondered what had happened to the beautiful water world of Anini in that interval.
Recently, Reef Guardians, an organization based here in Princeville, published a report on our watershed here in Princeville which drains into Anini Reef below. Our watershed largely determines the health of the creatures who are at home in Anini Lagoon. The report details the many sources of pollution above the reef which enter the water and directly effect the life cycles of the coral, fish, seahorses, turtles, seals and other creatures who live in these waters. Some of these are endangered species.
Late December, Robin Knox, an expert on water quality and the principal investigator of the Reef Guardians Anini Watershed Report, gave a presentation on the report at the Princeville Community Center. She clearly explained the issues affecting the reef and outlined the many areas of concern about what is being put into our watershed, which drains into the reef, and ultimately determines its health. Anini Reef is the largest lagoon in Hawaii and one its outstanding natural treasures. It is also an integral part of our community.
The Anini Watershed Report details the manmade factors which determines the health of the Anini ecosystem, and what can be done to understand and protect it better. The video presentation, and the Anini Watershed Report, is available at the Reef Guardians website https://www.reefguardians.org/.