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New 'Super Sucker" unveiled to rid Kaneohe Bay of invasive algae

By Sarah Zoellick

LAST UPDATED: 1:26 a.m. HST, Sep 28, 2012

A new vacuum device that could rid Kaneohe Bay of invasive algae by 2015 was shown off Thursday by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.

The Super Sucker II — a barge-mounted underwater vacuum — will more than double the state’s effort to remove invasive algae from the bay, proponents say.

Eric Conklin, director of marine science for the group, said Thursday the new gear far outperforms the old technology.

The current Super Sucker — acquired by the Conservancy in 2005 with a Hawaii Community Foundation grant and help from the University of Hawaii-Manoa — removes between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds of algae from Kaneohe Bay each day and clears about seven acres of reef per year. But that’s not enough.

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