- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - The state is forming a new management team to help respond to an outbreak of coral disease off Kauai’s north shore.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday black band coral disease is affecting three species of rice corals. The outbreak is predominantly on Kauai’s north shore. It appears to show up in seasonal “hot spots.”

Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Frazer McGilvray says this information is essential to determine options for healing the reef. Coral experts identified the outbreak a few years ago and have been studying it since.

The department is supporting research done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Hawaii.

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