An insurance policy takes effect this hurricane season to protect Hawaii’s famed coral reefs.
The Nature Conservancy bought the policy following the purchase of similar coverage by another group in Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, reports West Hawaii Today.
According to the Nature Conservancy, any paid claims would fund coral repair and restoration following a hurricane or any weather-related damage.
“Managing natural resources is a costly endeavor, and more investment is always needed,” says Brian Nielson of the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Land and Natural Resources. “TNC has been an excellent partner in restoring Hawaiʻi’s reefs and fisheries, and we are grateful for their leadership in securing this insurance. It is a step forward in coral reef conservation and will provide vital funding to repair reefs when it is urgently needed.”
The policy will cover an area ranging from the Big Island to Kauii at a premium of $110,000, Reuters reported. The insurance is linked to wind speed, rather than damage so that any claims can be paid off quickly and not have to wait for an assessment of damage.
The purchase comes as the Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicts as many as seven tropical cyclones in the region, West Hawaii Today reports. Forecasters expect El Nino conditions this year which will bring with it an increased risk of hurricanes.
Work crews following severe weather would collect reef fragments and reattach them using cement or epoxy, reports Yale E360.
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