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NOAA has chosen two sites in the Pacific Islands—Guam and West Hawaii—as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint
Located at the southern tip of Guam, the Manell-Geus watershed contains extensive seagrass beds and coral reefs that support the local village’s strong fishing tradition. The seagrass beds and patch reefs in Cocos Lagoon also provide important forage and resting habitat for sea turtles.
Poor water quality linked to erosion on the steep hillsides and streambanks impacting the coral reefs. Wildland fires, feral animals, and off-roading vehicles have accelerated erosion.
Invasive species, such as crown-of-thorns starfish.
Overharvesting of species, such as parrotfish.
NOAA is currently working with partners and the local community to develop and test watershed restoration techniques such as:
The west side of the Big Island is known for white sandy beaches and coral reefs that make it a popular tourist destination. The region is home to several threatened and endangered species as well as species of concern that are important to Hawaii’s economy, culture, and environment.
The South Kohala district is one of the fastest growing areas on the Big Island and development is on the rise. Land uses range from military, residential, and commercial sites to resort areas and very popular beaches. There are a variety of historical sites including archeological sites, traditional fishing areas, gathering sites, and Hawaiian fish ponds.