The Nature Conservancy and Alaska Airlines are working together to help restore near-shore coral reefs in Hawaii. Coral reefs not only provide recreation to visitors but they help create sand and surf, buffer coastal communities against storms and natural disasters, and provide habitat for healthy fisheries.
During the month of August 2013, for every Alaska Airlines mobile application downloaded, the airline donated $1 to the Conservancy (with a minimum contribution of $30,000) to support our work in Kāne‘ohe Bay, on Oʻahu, where two types of invasive algae are smothering the coral reefs. The goal was to encourage the airline’s customers to use the mobile app instead of printing paper boarding passes.
Through this support from Alaska Airlines and help from the Hawai'i State Division of Aquatic Resources and University of Hawai'i scientists, the Conservancy is working to fix the bay. The restoration team is using innovative underwater vacuums called “Super Suckers” to clear the invasive seaweed off the reefs, and then seeding the reefs with native sea urchins that feed on the algae and keep it from growing back. Once home to the highest number and greatest diversity of reef fish and coral on Oʻahu, the bay is under assault from algae which forms thick, tangled mats that smother and kill coral. The Conservancy expects to clear the north end of Kāne‘ohe Bay of harmful algae by 2015.
Alaska Airlines has been a supporter of The Nature Conservancy for 24 years and has been a member of the Hawaiʻi chapter’s Corporate Council for the Environment since 2011. The council is a statewide group of business leaders who recognize the vital link between Hawaii’s environment and its economy.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013.