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Hawaiʻi Coral Reefs and Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

Detailed Description

Rigorously Valuing the Role of Hawaiʻi’s Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

Estimated Annual Benefits

Maps of Hawaiʻi showing the distribution of the value of averted direct building damages, indirect economic activity losses, and population annually protected from flooding by coral reefs. Results at 10 m2 resolution are aggregated into 2-km coastal sections.

Key Data

Annual value of protection provided by coral reefs from flooding

  • Buildings: Niʻihau- $0, Kauaʻi- $5,854,742, Oʻahu- $200,942,259, Molokaʻi- $ 42,071, Lānaʻi- $53,732, Maui- $112,716,317, Kahoʻolawe- $0, Island of Hawaiʻi- $23,997,824
  • Economic Activity: Niʻihau- $1,066, Kauaʻi- $6,466,170, Oʻahu- $194,404,235, Molokaʻi- $ 73,122, Lānaʻi- $1,359, Maui- $264,474,795, Kahoʻolawe- $0, Island of Hawaiʻi- $26,686,848

Annual population protected by coral reefs

  • Number of people: Niʻihau- 0, Kauaʻi- 107, Oʻahu- 3,040, Molokaʻi- 1 Lānaʻi- 0, Maui- 3,831, Kahoʻolawe-  0, Island of Hawaiʻi- 336


Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Cole, A.D., Lowe, E., Shope, J.B., Gibbs, A.E., Nickel, B.A., McCall, R.T., van Dongeren, A.R., Beck, M.W., 2019, Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1027.

The USGS open file report can be found at:



Public Domain.

The Value of U.S. Coral Reefs for Risk Reduction
Discover the social and economic benefits provided by U.S. reefs

Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1027

U.S. Geological Survey data release
Projected flooding extents and depths based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the States of Hawaii and Florida, the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands