NAPILI - The Napili Bay and Beach Foundation is intensifying efforts to monitor the health of the reef marine life and water quality at Napili Bay.
Foundation President Pat B. Lindquist said the organization focused on three goals in 2013: cleaning out and restoring native flora in the ephemeral streambed Napili Kahawai to reduce erosion damage and runoff into the bay after storms, implementing a regular program of marine biology monitoring in Napili Bay, and launching a regular program of water quality monitoring in the bay.
Last fall, two marine biology training and monitoring events were held with University of Hawaii educators and Maui Preparatory Academy student volunteers.
The students and their teacher, Dr. Kathleen Ireland, helped identify and check the health of coral, fish, algae and invertebrates in the bay.
In addition, last year a water quality training and monitoring event was held with local adult volunteers.
Robin Knox of Water Quality Consulting trained nine volunteers in a workshop designed to show them how to set up, sample and analyze water from various points in the bay.
They were looking at turbidity, which can be correlated to sediment levels in the water. Increases in turbidity can damage the coral.
The foundation hopes to show that improvements to Napili's mauka desilting basin and streambed will result in measurable decreases in sediment levels and improve the health of the reef over time.
Both volunteer programs were supported by a Hawaii Community Foundation/Na-tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant program.
Reports on the monitoring efforts will be presented at a community meeting on Jan. 14.
For information, visit www.napilibayfoundation.org.
Lindquist and Napili Bay and Beach Foundation Vice President Gregg Nelson, Secretary Nane Aluli and Director Scott Ullrich announced, "Mahalo nui loa to all who've supported our efforts this year. We continue to make progress toward our overall goal of protecting and improving the health of Napili Bay and beach."