July 5, 2023
If worsening coastal storms damage the reefs, the Nature Conservancy will get a payout and use the money to repair the coral — work that state officials can’t afford to do.
The Nature Conservancy, an environmental group, has secured a $2 million insurance policy on Hawaii’s coral reefs, which is in effect in time for a busier hurricane season that could damage the vital natural resources that are increasingly under threat from climate change.
In announcing the policy purchase last year, The Nature Conservancy said it was the first-ever coral reef insurance policy in the United States.
The policy, issued by insurance firm Munich Re, is triggered at windspeeds of 57 mph (92 kph) if sufficiently close to reefs and can provide payouts up to a maximum of $2 million to allow rapid reef repair and restoration after storm damage.
The warmer Pacific has forecasters expecting a “near-to-above normal” hurricane season from June to November for waters around Hawaii, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. That amounts to four to seven tropical cyclones in the region, but fewer could actually come ashore in the islands.
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