Ivasive algae removal accelaerates sediment flushing in Maunalua Bay, Oahu
Invasive species are a worldwide problem and have altered both terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Hawaii. Avrainvillea amadelpha is one marine invader that has changed the Paiko Lagoon Peninsula (PLP) reef flat ecosystem. PLP also has a sediment accumulation problem worsened by the dense presence of the alga. Community-based groups, in partnership with governmental agencies, have attempted to restore PLP by manually removing >3,000 tons covering 26 acres of A. amadelpha. This study investigated the effectiveness of this restoration approach in the removal of accumulated fine sediment at PLP. We collected data at least once monthly for 14 months using a sediment resuspender and turbidity meter. Our model found that the removal of A. amadelpha is essential for the flushing of sediment out of PLP and is a necessary first step in improving habitat quality. Although restoration can be challenging and slow, success can still be achieved through effective community and governmental partnerships.