Tourism In Hawaii

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Tourism in Hawaii: An Environmental Perspective The state of Hawaii is iconic for its tropical atmosphere, endemic flora and fauna, and many recreational activities. These environmental facets help rank it as one of the top travel destinations in the world, and the tourism industry has completely revolutionized the cluster of islands. However, with an influx of over 8 million people annually (Malizia), a darker side of tourism is emerging. Human activities and urbanization are putting Hawaii’s environment in peril, giving the state one of the highest extinction rates on the planet and the nickname: the “Endangered Species Capital of the World” (International Ecotourism Society). The precarious state of Hawaii’s environment is entering the …show more content…

Because this living coral is underwater, its importance to not just the ocean environment, but humans as well, is often hidden. Known as the “rainforest of the sea,” coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species, Hawaiian reefs alone playing host to over 7,000 known species of plants and animals (Malizia). Not only are the reefs a primary source of tourist recreation and local fishing-- they create the sand on the beaches, determine the size of the waves, and protect the shorelines from storm damage and erosion. In other words, the coral reefs are a crucial resource for Hawaii. In addition, they are a resource in the development of many medical treatments. “Drugs used to treat asthma, arthritis, and cancer can all be traced to marine sources” (Malizia), so the health of the coral reefs impacts many more than just Hawaiians. With the coral reefs’ many valuable uses, there are also many practices putting them in danger. As reported by prolific science journalist Kendra Pierre-Louis, chemical exposure and runoff are causing an alarming rise in coral bleaching. Bleaching occurs when corals are exposed to water containing toxins, which cause coral reefs to lose their color and also leave them susceptible to death and disease (Pierre-Louis). One of the main culprits? Sunscreen. Thousands of tons of sunscreen wash off human bodies and into the ocean every year, and with “90% of snorkeling and diving …show more content…

Hawaii Travel Guide, 2006-2017, Accessed Dec. 2017. The International Ecotourism Society. “Sustainable Tourism in Hawaii: From the Mountains to the Reefs”. The International Ecotourism Society, 19 Feb. 2016, Accessed Dec. 2017. ---. “What is Ecotourism?”. The International Ecotourism Society, Accessed Dec. 2017. Kayian, Suzanne. “Hawaii Ecotourism Association honors Trilogy Excursions”. Mauitime, 20 Nov. 2017, -trilogy-excursions/. Accessed Dec. 2017. Malizia, Tony, and Lopez, Michele. “Hawaii Ecotourism Association”. Guide of Hawaii, 8 Jul. 2017, Accessed Dec. 2017. Pierre-Louis, Kendra. “Hawaii’s most popular coral reefs are in big trouble”. Popular Science, 31 May 2017, Accessed Dec. 2017. “Stewardship - Ho’Omalama Initiative”. Hawaii Forest & Trail, 2017, Accessed Dec.

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