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 The Fairmont Orchid Partners with the University of
Hawaii-Hilo to Protect Coral Reef Ecosystem
Located off the Oceanfront Resort


Kohala Coast, Hawaii’s Big Island (April 30, 2004) — The Fairmont Orchid and the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s Kalakaua Marine Education Center have joined forces to regularly monitor Pauoa Bay and the coral reef environment located off the oceanfront resort. It is the first time a Hawaii hotel has sought support from U.H.-Hilo in protecting its nearshore waters.
The unprecedented partnership between U.H.-Hilo and the hotel’s employee-driven Green Committee will ensure the reef and its countless inhabitants remain healthy by conducting a qualitative baseline study which includes monitoring coral growth, and measuring water temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrient and sediment levels. After the results are analyzed, the hotel and U.H. scientists can determine the best course of action for protecting the reef and its inhabitants. 
Pauoa Bay at The Fairmont Orchid

“Our initial impression is that the coral reef environment fronting The Fairmont Orchid is very healthy, and we’d like to help the staff learn how to keep it that way,” said Dr. Walter Dudley, U.H.-Hilo professor of oceanography. 

University scientists and the hotel’s Green Committee have completed several initial dives off The Fairmont Orchid, armed with underwater video and still cameras and a plethora of sampling devices. Dr. Dudley and U.H. technician John Coney filmed and photographed several 100-meter sections of reef to determine coral health and growth, and to launch a baseline photo and video archive. They are currently analyzing temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrient and sediment samples back in the lab. The most recent dive took place in early April, the next dive is scheduled for the end of May.

Pauoa Bay’s coral reef provides food and shelter to countless marine creatures, including many Hawaiian green sea turtles or honu, which are listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Other marine life includes pufferfish, spotted eagle rays, eels, colorful reef fish including butterflyfish, wrasses and numerous endemic species, marine invertebrates including sea urchins, nudibranchs, sea cucumbers, and much more. Spinner dolphins and humpback whales (in winter months) are often seen frolicking offshore. Hotel guests and island residents enjoy snorkeling, swimming, fishing and diving in this nearly pristine environment.

To further protect the environment, The Fairmont Orchid uses 100% organic water-insoluble fertilizer throughout the 32-acre property. This type of fertilizer is fully utilized by plant life and does not leach into the ocean, according to the hotel’s landscaping manager and Green Committee member Michael McCullough. Other types of nutrient-rich fertilizers can filter into the ocean and suffocate coral reefs by stimulating the growth of benthic algae, and reduce water clarity by stimulating growth of phytoplankton.

All 43 Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide have environmental or “green” programs in place, from Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Dubai and the mainland United States.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a collection of world-class resorts and city center hotels that enjoy unrivalled presence in the communities where they are located. Operating 43 properties throughout six countries, Fairmont is committed to providing guests with exceptional service in distinctive surroundings. Featuring such storied hotels as The Fairmont San Francisco, The Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and The Plaza, Fairmont properties are often deemed attractions in and of themselves. 


Jessica Ferracane
Director of Public Relations
The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
T: 808/887-7358

Also See: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. Complets Acquisition of The Orchid at Mauna Lani $140 million; Reflagged The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii / Dec 2002
Coral Reefs Worldwide Are Threatened By Tourism Activity, Coastal Development / June 1998

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