- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Warm water is stressing coral reef off Hawaii’s coasts, and conservationists are planning a day of action as temperatures rise.

Volunteers will be at Kahluu Beach Park on Saturday, when temperatures are projected to peak. They’ll be looking for bleaching caused when sources of stress like warmer water force coral polyps to expel living algae, turning the reefs from their natural color to white, West Hawaii Today reported (https://bit.ly/1GkN5f2 ).

“Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Oct. 3 effort started as Bleachapalooza on Maui. Department of Aquatic Resources Maui special projects coordinator Darla White says it became clear the effort should be statewide.

“We initially conceptualized Bleachapalooza as an event for Maui that would provide a way for people to take positive action for our reefs by reporting coral bleaching,” White said. “Once we started talking to our colleagues, it immediately became clear that this call for action should extend statewide.”

Eyes on the Reef Hawaii Island coordinator Lindsey Kramer says people are being asked to go to their favorite reefs, then report conditions to the project website.

“Basically, where do we stand at the worst of it,” she said. “Scientists can’t be everywhere, and reef managers can’t be everywhere.”

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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