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Blue ‘Aina making a difference, one reef at a time

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

Volunteers cleaned Honolua Bay in a Blue ‘Aina cleanup on July 17.

LAHAINA — “Lucky number seven!” That’s what Jill Quaintance, a Trilogy Excursions crew member initiator of Blue ‘Aina, said about a successful reef cleanup at Honolua Bay on July 17.

Blue ‘Aina joined forces with Project S.E.A-Link and the Surfrider Foundation-Maui Chapter on this month’s cleanup.

On top of preening Honolua Bay’s massive reef, their efforts included taking water samples and conducting fish identification and a fish count.

In late 2009, the crew of Trilogy was on Oahu while their boat was in dry dock. That same weekend, the Surfrider Foundation-Oahu Chapter held its annual John Kelly Environmental Achievement Awards.

Crew members from Trilogy attended the event, and they were so moved that they decided they wanted to do something to help the ‘aina when they got back to Maui.

Being surfers and divers, the crew decided they wanted to clean 12 reefs over the next 12 months and launched the Blue ‘Aina campaign.

Many people contribute to make the monthly cleanups successful.

Trilogy donates its boat, fuel and snorkel gear, while the crew donates their time. All monetary donations go to support the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation.

“The first weekend of every month, Blue ‘Aina invites our Maui community and visitors to help us in the cleanup of distressed reefs. These reefs are preselected and are chosen based on the most urgent need,” said Capt. Chris Walsh.

“Each month, we are blown away at how many volunteers come to help out — it is encouraging to see our community working together for the better good of our oceans.”

Blue ‘Aina kicked off on Jan. 2. Seven cleanups have been held, with the next event scheduled for the first weekend in August.

A suggested donation of $10 is encouraged from all volunteers. In addition to getting a free shirt and going on a boat ride, the cleanups are a fun, feel-good way to give back to your island and make a difference!

For information on the Blue ‘Aina campaign, call Quaintance at (808) 333-7368 or jill.qu@gmail.com, or visit http://bit.ly/aoKKIa or www.surfrider.org/.