Natural disasters seem to be an unsettling trend to 2010. I was riveted by the breaking news of the massive earthquake that rocked Chile over the weekend, followed by the coverage of empty beaches and rising waves in Hawaii. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the scenes of Thailand and the South Pacific Islands crushed by the December Tsunami only a few short years ago. Would our Aloha State meet the same horrific fate?
Fortunately, my fears were unwarranted, and the danger passed. However, I still find myself drifting, wondering what it is all like now in those places that weren’t so lucky a few years ago. People are resilient, we recover and rebuild. But what about everything else? What about the delicate corals and ecosystems of the reefs, pounded by debris, snapped, tossed, beached and blanketed with silt? Turns out the reefs in that region are resilient like the people that live around them, and are recovering nicely. Though they still have a long way to go, previously dead areas are now proving to be nurseries for baby corals and other reef inhabitants.
I guess in many ways, the destruction of these walls of water leads to a rebirth of not just the reefs and their inhabitants, but the people around them too. Some communities have shifted from destructive fishing practices to helping the reefs to recover by transplanting corals in an effort to rebuild the shallow reefs that were washed away. The benefits of healthy living reefs has become more apparent, and second chances abound.