The Reef Around Us
Source: Maui Magazine
The first time I peered underwater, my known universe quadrupled. I must have been ten or eleven years old; my leaky mask tugged at my hair and promptly filled with water. Undeterred, I dipped my face under and discovered Oz—a Technicolor aquascape. Forget imaginary lions, tigers, and bears-here were real-life unicornfish, sea turtles, and eels! Who knew a wildlife safari awaited in knee-deep water? Grinning so hard the snorkel popped from my mouth, I surfaced to announce: "There are fish down there! Big ones!"
That same joyous discovery happens on Maui beaches every day. Despite relentless pressure from pollutants, invasive species, and commercial fishers, Hawaiian reefs are the gift that keeps on giving. Bristling with life, they offer up endless marvels for the curious. We have only to look to be amazed...
To answer such questions, I sought the expertise of two local waterwomen. Sixty-nine-year-old Ann Fielding wrote the book, literally, on Hawaiian reef fish. A lifelong advocate for healthy marine habitats, she patiently educates locals and visitors alike on personally guided tours. Following in her fin kicks, Liz Foote oversees several marine advocacy projects, including the Hawai‘i chapter of Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), an international organization committed to saving coral reefs through community education.
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