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Ambassadors of the Environment
Kapalua

A collaboration between
Coral reefs are like cities under the sea because they have
power plants, farms, recycling, public housing, public health,...
Each resident of the reef has a job and all these
residents do the work necessary to keep the reef
functioning. In many wa...
This big mound is a lobe coral.
Corals are made by small
animals, called coral polyps.
Corals are the architects and
const...
Each little flower is an individual coral polyp. All of these
individual coral polyps create the coral colony. It is coral...
Notice that this coral is green. The color is due to tiny algae
living inside the coral’s tissues. These algae, called
zoo...
There are many types of corals with a diversity of architectural styles. 

The different colors are due to the different v...
Almost every surface of the reef is collecting solar energy and making food.
Here brownish algae cover the hard bottom. Li...
Parrotfish are the lawn mowers of the coral reef. 

They graze on algae and keep it from overgrowing the reef. 

As they g...
Parrotfish grind up the algae along with bits of reef and then poop sand.
This parrotfish can make 200 pounds of sand each...
When your family takes a walk on a beautiful tropical beach, 

you may want to remind them that some of the sand 

they ar...
These sea urchins are also part of the landscape management team. 

They graze on algae and help keep the reef from being ...
Green turtles and surgeonfish also help control the growth of algae. 

All of these herbivores use the energy in their foo...
Hawkfish that sit and wait for food to come by 

and triggerfish that swim around looking for food are predators. 

They a...
Eels come out at night to explore the reef in search of sleeping fish and
other prey. They may look scary, with their mout...
Large predators embody the energy from the sun 

that passed from algae to herbivores 

and through a series of predators,...
Predators, such as sharks, prey on smaller fish. 

They keep the populations under control 

and maintain ecological balan...
Sea cucumbers are the sanitation engineers of the reef.
They are the clean-up crew as they crawl over the reef and feed.
They ingest sand, digest waste organic matter 

and release the sand cleaner than it was before. 

They are good recyclers.
This slipper lobster, other crustaceans, worms 

and bacteria also digest waste organic material, 

keeping the reef clean...
This slipper lobster, other crustaceans, worms 

and bacteria also digest waste organic material, 

keeping the reef clean...
Here we see that energy from the sun powers the food web from
algae to large predators. The material of the reef gets recy...
The reef has an incredible diversity of species. Each has its own
way of living and each contributes to the health of the ...
Nudibranchs are snails without shells, 

using bright coloration as “advertisement!” 

The bright colors say to hungry fis...
Sea urchins demonstrate reef diversity. Notice the different types of
spines of these urchins. Pencil urchins, upper right...
These urchins are like “termites” that excavate holes 

and chambers in the reef, 

creating great places for other creatu...
These urchins decorate themselves with debris for camouflage. 

Notice the 2nd one on the right.
Corals are not the only animal on the reef that is home to others. 

Look closely at this urchin and see if you can find s...
This is a commensal (resident)
shrimp perfectly adapted to
live and hide among the spines
of this urchin.
Another example of diversity is the family of butterflyfish. 

Many have a spot called a false eye to distract predators f...
Surgeonfish have a sharp “scalpel” at the base of their tail. 

They call attention to this defensive weapon 

with a warn...
This Achilles surgeonfish calls attention to its scalpel. 

Your eye is drawn to the razor sharp spine 

that can easily c...
The opposite of warning coloration is camouflage. 

Can you see the eye of this frogfish?
Now do you see the eye. Notice the mouth is facing up. 

These fish have a little spine, just above the eye, that looks li...
Some fish have diversity in their coloration. 

These goatfish rest on the bottom and have a greenish color with a yellow
...
These two goatfish are at the doctor’s office. To attract the attention to
the yellow and blue cleaner wrasses that pick o...
This goatfish just changed to pink, 

presumably to make it even more clear that it needs service 

and to make it easier ...
At night these goatfish have another coloration – blotchy red pajamas.
This spiky crown-of-thorns sea star eats corals.
Crown-of-thorns evert their stomachs to digest coral 

outside the sea star’s body.
BUT the coral has a pal that fights to protect the coral 

from crown-of-thorns. When the predator comes the resident crab...
After the crab has pinched off a few of the sea star’s tube feet the
predator moves on to another coral that may not have ...
Humans are part of this story because when we allow nutrients from
sewage, fertilizer and land run off to enrich coastal w...
So these beautiful sea stars may or may not be a problem for reefs. 

It depends on how humans understand and manage 

the...
Excessive nutrients can also enable algae to overgrow corals. 

This problem can be even worse when people harvest too man...
We are all connected to reefs through the energy we use. 

Carbon dioxide from burning petroleum is causing global warming...
The diversity of species keeps this city under the sea healthy. 

Corals have solar collectors (algae) and create the buil...
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Kapalua Slideshow

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The Ambassadors of the Environment program at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is available to hotel guests as well as the surrounding community. Located on the northwest coast of the beautiful island of Maui, the second youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, this site is ideal for exploring the natural wonders of Hawaii’s coral reefs, tide pools, marine mammals, coastal bluffs, and rainforests.

Published in: Environment
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Kapalua Slideshow

  1. 1. 
 Ambassadors of the Environment Kapalua
 A collaboration between
  2. 2. Coral reefs are like cities under the sea because they have power plants, farms, recycling, public housing, public health, advertisement, managers AND corals are the construction crew that creates the buildings.
  3. 3. Each resident of the reef has a job and all these residents do the work necessary to keep the reef functioning. In many ways it is like a city under the sea.
  4. 4. This big mound is a lobe coral. Corals are made by small animals, called coral polyps. Corals are the architects and construction crews of the reefs. The reef structure is made of coral skeletons.
  5. 5. Each little flower is an individual coral polyp. All of these individual coral polyps create the coral colony. It is coral colonies that become the buildings of this city under the sea. 
 They are coral buildings.
  6. 6. Notice that this coral is green. The color is due to tiny algae living inside the coral’s tissues. These algae, called zooxanthellae, perform photosynthesis. They use sunlight to make food that helps corals build the reef structure and food that also supports the reef food web.
  7. 7. There are many types of corals with a diversity of architectural styles. 
 The different colors are due to the different varieties of algae living inside. So the coral buildings of this city under the sea have roof-top gardens or power plants AND the waste of the animal serves as fertilizer to help the algae grow.
  8. 8. Almost every surface of the reef is collecting solar energy and making food. Here brownish algae cover the hard bottom. Like the zooxanthellae living inside the corals, these algae create food from raw materials and sunlight. Notice the scrape marks that from a grazer that feeds on this algae
  9. 9. Parrotfish are the lawn mowers of the coral reef. 
 They graze on algae and keep it from overgrowing the reef. 
 As they graze they scrape off part of the reef and erode the limestone.
  10. 10. Parrotfish grind up the algae along with bits of reef and then poop sand. This parrotfish can make 200 pounds of sand each year
  11. 11. When your family takes a walk on a beautiful tropical beach, 
 you may want to remind them that some of the sand 
 they are walking on is parrotfish poop.
  12. 12. These sea urchins are also part of the landscape management team. 
 They graze on algae and help keep the reef from being overgrown with weeds. This is important because nutrients from agriculture, fertilizer and sewage and promote excessive growth of algae and can smother a reef.
  13. 13. Green turtles and surgeonfish also help control the growth of algae. 
 All of these herbivores use the energy in their food to keep themselves alive. They are important links in the reef’s food web transferring energy in algae through herbivores and up to carnivores.
  14. 14. Hawkfish that sit and wait for food to come by 
 and triggerfish that swim around looking for food are predators. 
 They are the next link in the food web.
  15. 15. Eels come out at night to explore the reef in search of sleeping fish and other prey. They may look scary, with their mouths open, but they have to keep their mouths open to breathe – to pass water across their gills.
  16. 16. Large predators embody the energy from the sun 
 that passed from algae to herbivores 
 and through a series of predators, 
 ending up with fish like this grouper and sharks.
  17. 17. Predators, such as sharks, prey on smaller fish. 
 They keep the populations under control 
 and maintain ecological balance on coral reefs.
  18. 18. Sea cucumbers are the sanitation engineers of the reef. They are the clean-up crew as they crawl over the reef and feed.
  19. 19. They ingest sand, digest waste organic matter 
 and release the sand cleaner than it was before. 
 They are good recyclers.
  20. 20. This slipper lobster, other crustaceans, worms 
 and bacteria also digest waste organic material, 
 keeping the reef clean and healthy
  21. 21. This slipper lobster, other crustaceans, worms 
 and bacteria also digest waste organic material, 
 keeping the reef clean and healthy
  22. 22. Here we see that energy from the sun powers the food web from algae to large predators. The material of the reef gets recycled ending up as nutrients that help algae grow.
  23. 23. The reef has an incredible diversity of species. Each has its own way of living and each contributes to the health of the reef
  24. 24. Nudibranchs are snails without shells, 
 using bright coloration as “advertisement!” 
 The bright colors say to hungry fish, 
 “Stay away! I’m poisonous!”
  25. 25. Sea urchins demonstrate reef diversity. Notice the different types of spines of these urchins. Pencil urchins, upper right, have thick spines that are too much trouble for trigger fish to bite through.
  26. 26. These urchins are like “termites” that excavate holes 
 and chambers in the reef, 
 creating great places for other creatures to hide.
  27. 27. These urchins decorate themselves with debris for camouflage. 
 Notice the 2nd one on the right.
  28. 28. Corals are not the only animal on the reef that is home to others. 
 Look closely at this urchin and see if you can find someone 
 living among the spines.
  29. 29. This is a commensal (resident) shrimp perfectly adapted to live and hide among the spines of this urchin.
  30. 30. Another example of diversity is the family of butterflyfish. 
 Many have a spot called a false eye to distract predators from their real eyes. As you can see, some species also have a dark line over their real eye to further confuse a predator.
  31. 31. Surgeonfish have a sharp “scalpel” at the base of their tail. 
 They call attention to this defensive weapon 
 with a warning, bright white coloration.
  32. 32. This Achilles surgeonfish calls attention to its scalpel. 
 Your eye is drawn to the razor sharp spine 
 that can easily cut a finger to the bone.
  33. 33. The opposite of warning coloration is camouflage. 
 Can you see the eye of this frogfish?
  34. 34. Now do you see the eye. Notice the mouth is facing up. 
 These fish have a little spine, just above the eye, that looks like a worm. When it is wiggled small fish come to investigate and are gobbled up
  35. 35. Some fish have diversity in their coloration. 
 These goatfish rest on the bottom and have a greenish color with a yellow stripe or a blotchy coloration seen in the fish at the upper right.
  36. 36. These two goatfish are at the doctor’s office. To attract the attention to the yellow and blue cleaner wrasses that pick off parasites, the goatfish stand on their heads and even extend barbels (chin whiskers) on the left.
  37. 37. This goatfish just changed to pink, 
 presumably to make it even more clear that it needs service 
 and to make it easier for the cleaners to find parasites.
  38. 38. At night these goatfish have another coloration – blotchy red pajamas.
  39. 39. This spiky crown-of-thorns sea star eats corals.
  40. 40. Crown-of-thorns evert their stomachs to digest coral 
 outside the sea star’s body.
  41. 41. BUT the coral has a pal that fights to protect the coral 
 from crown-of-thorns. When the predator comes the resident crab emerges and pinches off the sea star’s tube feet.
  42. 42. After the crab has pinched off a few of the sea star’s tube feet the predator moves on to another coral that may not have a protective crab.
  43. 43. Humans are part of this story because when we allow nutrients from sewage, fertilizer and land run off to enrich coastal waters, we enable more baby crown-of-thorns babies to survive. 
 This can result in a population explosion that results in 
 entire reefs being killed by these sea stars.
  44. 44. So these beautiful sea stars may or may not be a problem for reefs. 
 It depends on how humans understand and manage 
 their connections to reefs.
  45. 45. Excessive nutrients can also enable algae to overgrow corals. 
 This problem can be even worse when people harvest too many herbivores like parrotfish, surgeonfish and even sea urchins 
 that some people eat.
  46. 46. We are all connected to reefs through the energy we use. 
 Carbon dioxide from burning petroleum is causing global warming 
 and ocean acidification. When the water becomes too warm corals 
 lose the algae that provide them with food, turn white and may die. 
 This is called coral bleaching. Acidification also makes it more difficult to make their skeletons.
  47. 47. The diversity of species keeps this city under the sea healthy. 
 Corals have solar collectors (algae) and create the buildings of this city. Waste is recycled. Grazers and predators keep things in order. Partnerships are important to many species. People are part of this ecosystem . 
 We can do it harm or protect it – its up to us.

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