Back in February 2003, the ISW posted about an effort to remove the invasive algae Gracilaria salicornia from Waikiki reef in Hawai'i. Over a hundred volunteers joined forces to remove tons of the stuff - by hand. The story made reference to plans to develop a giant vacuum to fight the algae...and now it looks like they've done it. An article in today's Honolulu Advertiser describes the University of Hawai'i's new underwater vacuum, nicknamed the "Super Sucker," that pulls in 200-300 gallons of seawater every minute, and can suck up 800 gallons of Gracilaria per hour. It even has a screen that allows divers to rescue any native critters that get pulled in. I wonder what those volunteers are going to do with all their new free time?
Bonus points to the Advertiser for keeping the algae's scientific name in the article, and quadruple bonus points for allowing us to continue to access an excellent article from back in 2003 without asking us to pay or to fill out an annoying login page.