Honolulu Harbor Annual Report to David and Lucille Packard Foundation

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A Report to David and Lucile Packard Foundation

On the First Year’s Activities

May 15, 1998

L.. G. Eldredge, Ph. D and S. L. Coles, Ph. D.

Department of Natural Sciences

Bernice P. Bishop Museum

1525 Bernice Street

Honolulu, Hawai’I 96817

(808) 848-4139

(808) 847-8252 (Fax)


A proposal entitled “Investigations for Nonindigenous Marine Species Introductions in Honolulu Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii” was submitted to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in February 1997. The proposed study was to survey the marine biological communities of Honolulu Harbor and other basins on the south of Oahu with the goal of detecting introductions of nonindigenous species that have invaded these harbor areas. The baseline information determined by this study is to be used in making management decisions regarding the need and means for controlling introductions of nonindigenous marine species in Hawaiian waters. On June 9, 1997, the Packard Foundation generously awarded $150,000 for this project, to be granted over a period of two years. The following is a report of the first year’s activities.

Proposed Activities Completed

The activities proposed for the first year have been completed on schedule. These include the following:

1. Retrospective Literature Survey
A review of all available resources has found 133 published and unpublished references for Honolulu Harbor, 17 references for Keehi Lagoon and 15 for the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and Kewalo Basin. The annotated bibliography of these references is presented in Appendix A. Most of these references are engineering reports, oceanographic reports, and magazine or newspaper articles about the history of the harbors. Only fifteen of these references contain information about the biological communities of these harbor areas, indicating the minimal information that has been available.
2. Checklist of previous reports for marine organisms in Honolulu Harbor and other basins
The Bishop Museum catalogues for marine invertebrates and fishes have been reviewed for specimens that have previously been collected in Honolulu Harbor, Keehi Lagoon, the Ala Wai yacht Harbor and Kewalo basin. Results (Appendix B) indicate only 81 taxa identified to at least the genus level to have been catalogued in the museum collections for Honolulu and Keehi Lagoon, and only 20 taxa for the Ala Wai and Kewalo Basin harbors. Most of these were crustaceans sampled in the 1920s, 1940s and 1950s.
The list of taxa that were identified for the nine biological surveys that have been conducted previously in Honolulu Harbor is given in Appendix C. A total of 344 taxa have been noted in the harbor by all previous studies from 1972 to 1997, with 244 of these identified to species. Most of the previous reports are from biological monitoring programs conducted in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Electric Honolulu Power Station outfall in 1972-74 and 1991-97, with the latter study listing a total of 134 taxa and 119 of these identified to species.
3. Field surveys of stations in Honolulu Harbor and Keehi Lagoon
Benthic samples and visual records of fish populations have been collected at the 15 stations in Honolulu Harbor shown in Figure 1, and at five stations in Keehi Lagoon. Where possible, stations have been located at the few sites where previous surveys have been conducted in order to effect time series comparisons. A list of the benthic organisms and fishes that were identified on site for Honolulu Harbor is presented in Appendix D. A total of 118 taxa were identified on site, with 103 of these identified to species. Collected benthic samples have been sorted for six of the 15 Honolulu Harbor stations, and laboratory identifications of these sorted specimens will begin soon.

Matching Funds Obtained

In November 1997, matching funds for this project of $160,282 were received from the Dingle-Johnson program through Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). This funding made it possible to expand the project beyond the tasks specified in the original Packard Foundation proposal. Additional activities include a study of ballast water of commercial ships entering Honolulu Harbor and the Barber’s Point Deep Draft Harbor, surveys of the biota of 15 stream mouths along the south shore of Oahu, and extending sampling of marine communities to the Barber’s Point Harbor. Continuation of the DLNR matching funds for an additional $160,506 has been authorized and allocated for the study’s second year

Information Dissemination and Public Presentations

During 1997-98 Dr. L. G. Eldredge served on the Hawaii State Marine Alien Aquatic Species Task Force, which developed plans for raising public awareness and prevention of marine species introductions. Dr. Eldredge also addressed the Honolulu Propeller Club and the Kona SeaGrant evening public lecture series on our marine introduced species program. He also attended the Aquatic Nuisance Species Forum and Workshop at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center under the auspices of the U. S. Wildlife Service. Dr. S. L. Coles made presentations on marine species introductions to the Hawaii Sustainability Summit, the University of Hawaii Zoology Department, the Eighth Pacific Science Inter-Congress in Suva Fiji, and the Ninth International Zebra Mussel and Aquatic Nuisance Species Conference at Sacramento, CA. Mr. R. C. DeFelice presented a paper on introduced sponges at the Pacific Science Inter-Congress in Suva Fiji and work worked with Dr. Michelle Kelly-Borges in Auckland, N. Z developing techniques for identifying introduced sponges. Drs. Eldredge, Coles and Mr. DeFelice also participated in a semester-long postgraduate seminar on marine species introductions offered by the U. H. Zoology Department. Dr. James Carlton addressed the Aquatic Alien Species Task Force on recent international developments in control of marine species introductions.

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