Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


Coral reefs playa critically important rale in both the human and natural world. They are among the most biologically rich systems on earth and are of significant economic value to humans. They act as an important base for fisheries and provide food, jobs, and income to billions of people worldwide. These delicate systems are increasingly threatened by several factors including overexploitation pollution, habitat loss, coral bleaching, and global climate change. The rapid decline and loss of the ancient and complex ecosystems had triggered major concern all over the world. Hawaiian coral reefs have experienced an increasing exposure to anthropogenic threats since development skyracketed in the 1950's. Because this is a period of less than a century, the reefs in Hawaii are among the most pristine in the world in close proximity to human development. Their isolation pravides an outstanding opportunity to study the direct effects of anthrapogenic and natural impacts to coral reef ecosystems. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between population changes in Hawaii, policy implementation, and trends observed in local coral reefs. This information will pravide a better understanding of policy effectiveness, and provides a means to recommend possible policy improvements. Learning how to manage Hawaii's coral reef ecosystems can provide a valuable framework for coral conservation efforts around the world, and con be a key component in the movement toward coral reef sustainability.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Division of Science and Environmental Policy