Watch Divers Restore Coral Reefs Hit by a Huge Ship in Hawaii
Surrounded by response vessels, the cargo ship VogeTrader grounded on coral.
The 734-foot bulk carrier M/V VogeTrader after it ran aground near Oahu, on February 5, 2010. The milky color in the water beneath the ship is the pulverized coral. (U.S. Coast Guard)

OCTOBER 1, 2015 -- Coral reefs are not to be confused with underwater highways. Unfortunately for the corals, however, navigating huge ships is a tricky business and sometimes reefs do end up on the wrong side of the "road." (One reason why having up-to-date navigational charts is so important!) This was the case for corals damaged off the Hawaiian island of Oahu in February of 2010 when the cargo ship M/V VogeTrader ran aground and was later removed from a coral reef in Kalaeloa/Barber's Point Harbor. NOAA's Restoration Center and the State of Hawaii worked quickly to implement emergency restoration (using what look like laundry baskets), using special underwater scientific techniques and technologies, and ultimately restoring the reef after getting some help from vacuums, power washers, and even winter storms. See divers transform these Hawaiian corals from crushed to flush with marine life:

Download the video file. [mp4, 188 MB] In the end, these efforts are all part of how we work to help make the ocean a better place for corals and the many other types of marine life that rely on them.