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'Anini Reef & Lagoon


Runoff from property above Anini lagoon. 

Sediment pollution kills the reef. 

Photo Aug 18, 7 58 18 AM.heic

It's up to all of us to protect what we love!


The ‘Anini area is a diverse ecological system that holds great cultural and economic value. Its fringing reef is the largest in the state, providing habitat for a wide variety of marine life, some of which are endangered or threatened.

The beauty and bounty of this area has been prized throughout time, but its health has severely plummeted, especially over the last decades. ‘Anini’s reef suffers from algal overgrowth and coral disease outbreaks facilitated by pollution carried in by freshwater inputs, including sediment runoff and groundwater. 


The inland streams, watersheds, marine waters, and fringing reef are historically understudied and have just begun to be monitored by the Division of Aquatic Resources on a routine twice-yearly basis. 

Reef Guardians has created an 'Anini Water Quality Characterization Report (Knox, Dressler, Mazor et al. 2022) focused on the broader ‘Anini region from mauka (toward the mountains) to makai (toward the sea) identifying where land-based pollution impacts the ecosystem.

Our next actions are to educate our community, carry out action steps and develop a community-based management plan for 'Anini watershed. Can you help? Volunteers and funding are needed.

Download the form and email to

to volunteer!

'Anini Coral Reef Health

Prolonged sedimentation and high turbidity levels smother corals and lower the available UV light, blocking both photosynthesis and suspended particle feeding. This can eventually lead to population collapse.


Recent Hawaii Dept. of Aquatic Resources (DAR) reports at ‘Anini show widespread coral bleaching, overgrowth of macroalgae and cyanobacterial algal mats, low fish abundance, warmer sea surface temperatures, and high amounts of sediment. 


This allows diseases to take hold, like the Black band disease outbreaks in 2012-2015 and 2019-current.


Black band coral disease killing rice coral colony in Anini Lagoon.


Healthy coral garden at Anini Lagoon.

Action Steps

In order to understand and positively influence the dynamics of ‘Anini reef and coral health conditions and watershed inputs, water testing for pollutants is needed.


Coral reef and storm water studies will follow. Your donations will make this possible!

Sediment pollution kills the reef. 

Anini is the home and refuge for endangered species. This monk seal pup rests and finds its food in the safety of the Anini lagoon waters and beach. 


Endangered Honu (Green Sea Turtle) here at home in the Anini lagoon. Even the very rare honuea (Hawksbill Sea Turtle) visit Anini Lagoon for their favorite seagrass meals.

Adequate populations of herbivores are essential for a healthy balance of coral and algae on the reef. 

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