Experts: Matson Molasses Spill Caused Significant Coral Reef Damage
Source: Hawai'i News Now
Author: Mileka Lincoln
September 13, 2013
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)-Four days after a faulty Matson pipe discharged 233,000 gallons of molasses into the waters at Honolulu Harbor, marine biologists say the environmental disaster is causing significant damage to the coral reef.
"Inside the harbor is just mass mortality. The corals are dead. The invertebrates are dead," described Robert Richmond, a University of Hawai'i at Manoa Marine Biology and Ecotoxicology Professor.
Prof. Richmond, who works at Kewalo Marine Laboratory, says healthy coral reefs should be vibrant and buzzing with activity, but Honolulu Harbor is the exact opposite after the Matson molasses spill. Richmond says fellow researchers from the lab went underwater yesterday and witnessed corals losing their color and tissue.
"They have little unicellular algae that live inside that basically make them solar powered, so they're losing their major source of energy, but in addition, the coral's just simply dying flat out," explained Richmond.
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