Favorite snorkeling/diving spot: My favorite snorkeling spot is Kahaluu Beach. It is shallow and absolutely filled with fish life. I'm a volunteer committed to protecting this reef. My favorite dive site, however, is Honaunau Bay (Two Step) because it is almost always accessible and has such lush coral growth as well as a wall descending to a sandy 90 ft. bottom. Turtles abound and dolphins frequent the area too.
Favorite snorkeling/diving experience in Hawaii: A few years ago we spent over an hour with a pod of Spinner dolphins at Honauanau. They were playful and engaging. I only returned to shore when I ran out of air and film!
Favorite example of symbiosis on the reef: Outside the Honokahou Harbor is a cleaning station for turtles. I love to watch the tangs feed on the algae and clean the turtles' shells.
Fascinating and interesting marine creature: Manta rays! Their grace is a spectacle to behold.
How are reefs faring in Hawaii overall? Most reefs are doing well. A few have seen human impact, either directly through snorkeler/diver contact or through shoreline development.
What are some healthy reef indicators: Juvenile fish, growing numbers of turtles, and the absence of some reef problems, like bleaching, disease, over-population of Crown of Thorns, etc., indicate that we are still in pretty good shape in West Hawaii.
Tip for protecting the reef: Buoyancy control! Whether diving or snorkeling, people need to have control of the bodies so that inadvertant contact doesn't harm coral polyps.