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Tsunami Hits Kona Anchialine Pools !

August 19, 2011

"Puffy" - Original photo by N. Hobgood (limited public domain)

“Puffy” is his name. A large spiny balloonfish had become the new unofficial mascot of Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park (PUHO). As a result of the March 11 tsunami, Puffy and many other marine fish were swept up in the waves and landed in ecologically and culturally important brackish-water anchialine pools along the Kona Coast on the island of Hawai’i.

The Kona coast showed major signs of tsunami damage. The NPS aquatic biology team arrived at PUHO for our quarterly water sampling trip at the end of April. At one of the fish pond sites in the royal court, the tide was extremely low when we first saw some of the damage. The rock wall was in pieces, sediment had shifted, and a marine balloonfish was in this inland pool. We knew we had to help Puffy. After finishing the water quality sampling, we grabbed a seine, dip nets, an action packer, some help, and hopped into the pool; boots and all………


Restoration of damaged anchialine pool

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