synopsis
turtle cleaningTurtle Reef presents a slice of just 24 hours in the cycle of life on a coral reef.  Featuring the Hawaiian Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), the film explores the reef to encounter its many inhabitants and learn what role they play in the ecosystem.

Coral reef communities are as complex as our own.  They are populated by cold, scaly, even slimy life forms… as alien and different from us as creatures from another planet.  We associate them with sport; a living, as food items… or entertainment… even as pets. At “Turtle Reef” in the Hawaiian Islands we discover how the lives of creatures in this alien world parallels our own.  Who could have imagined that these animals function in an ocean-bound society akin to our cities?  Every member of the reef is employed in vital tasks that help balance the ecosystem’s functions.  Daily life follows discernable patterns that are regulated by the cycles of sun and moon.  Individuals, species and social groups communicate in direct and indirect ways.  Associations and social gatherings have important consequences and benefits to individuals.  Lifelong partnerships are common.

Turtle Reef, like other coral reefs has changed in our lifetimes.  Through the lives of Hawaiian turtles we realize that with their story we hold the keys to our own destiny.