2020 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Land Use Planning and Management
Faculty Advisor: Peter Raymond
Using ArcMaps to Select Sites Climate-Resilient Coral Restoration in Maunalua Bay, Hawai‘i
Coral reefs have been identified as a potential natural solution for reducing the risks of climate-related coastal flooding and erosion. Healthy coral reef ecosystems serve as the first line of coastal defense by providing protection from wave energy, flooding, and damage from storms, all of which have increased due to climate change. Coral reefs also offer ecosystem services by supporting marine life and economies, and are able to self-recover after disturbance. This research used environmental data to conduct weighted and non-weighted site selection analyses in ArcMaps to identify the most suitable sites for a climate-resilient coral reef restoration project. In this project, called Restore with Resilience, 4,000 climate-resilient coral nubbins are to be planted in Maunalua Bay, Hawaiʻi. Results indicate that there are several suitable regions for coral restoration in Maunalua Bay. Restoration of corals with thermal resilience in Maunalua Bay is expected to enhance coral cover in the bay for the benefit of biodiversity, local stakeholders, and coastal resilience.