CRAMP Study Sites: Island of Moloka‘i
Geographic Name: Kamiloloa
CRAMP site code: MoKam
21° 04.2 'N, 157° 00.03 'W
Chart showing Kamiloloa coastline. Red arrows show location of transect sites. (Click for larger image.)
1993 NOAA aerial photo of the Kamiloloa area. Image provided by Steve Rohmann. (Click image for larger view.)
Reef Structure, Habitat Classification:
This area of coastline is characterized by a well developed fringing reef with an extensive reef flat and ancient Hawaiian fish ponds. The beach consists of sandy mud, grading into fine mud in the subtidal area near shore. Macroalgae and sea grass occurs in abundance. The water deepens and corals become more abundant as one moves seaward. The inner 1/3 of the reef flat consists largely of mud and rubble on a hard carbonate platform with extensive algae. Moving seaward, mud is less prevalent and the bottom consists of low ridges of carbonate material aligned perpendicular to shore with muddy sand and gravel in the channels between the ridges. Available hard substratum has low coral coverage and large amounts of algae. The corals Montipora capitata, Porites compressa are common. Other coral species present include Pocillopora damicornis, and Psammocora stellata. The outer 1/3 of the reef flat shows increasing substrate complexity with higher ridges and increasing coral cover. High water motion species of coral such as Porites lobata and Pocillopora meandrina are common in this area, but coverage is relatively low. The bottom slopes gently seaward beyond the breaker zone into a deeper area that appears to be severely impacted by sedimentation processes occurring on the adjacent reef flat. Coral coverage is very low on hard substratum to depths in excess of 40 feet. The reef slope is characterized by carbonate ridges and intervening sand channels.
Human Use Patterns:
Status (Degree of Legal Protection):
Open access, no special management designations. Authority for managing the marine resources within three miles (4.8 km) of the high tide mark lies with the Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources. All laws pertaining to the management of state marine resources apply (see pamphlet "Hawai‘i Fishing regulations, September 1999", 51 pp. available from Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 330, Honolulu, Hawai‘i).
The major concern is the impact of the heavy sediment load in this area. The high standing crop of algae suggests nutrification (non-point nutrient sources from residential area) may be a problem. Sustaining the reef fisheries is also a consideration.
Last Update: 02/24/2011
By: Dan Lager
Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment & Monitoring Program
Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
P.O. Box 1346
Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744