Wildlife agency cleans debris from atoll

A million pounds of shipwreck debris were pulled from Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuges — which are located 1,000 miles south of Honolulu.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services removed the rubble in an attempt to protect some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world.

Officials say, the iron in the shipwrecks was fueling the growth of invasive organisms — smothering the coral.

“Removing the source of that nutrient onto the reef to halt the growth of the invasive species is the way to restore the reef as it should be,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Susan White said.

Researchers will now remove the invasive organisms that have been taking over the reefs.

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