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Napili ramps up bay health monitoring program

By Staff | Nov 28, 2013

NAPILI – With financial support from a Hawaii Community Foundation/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant program, Napili Bay and Beach Foundation (NBBF) has held two training and snorkeling events this fall to monitor the health of the reef, marine life and water at Napili Bay.

In August, Robin Knox of Water Quality Consulting trained nine adult 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 reefs.

The team hopes to show that improvements to Napili’s mauka desilting basin and streambed will result in measurable decreases in sediment levels – and improvements in health of the reef – over time.

Data is being inputted into the CORAL database. Several Go-Pro photos were part of the results of the successful workshop.

In October, Maui Preparatory Academy students and their teacher, Dr. Kathleen Ireland, volunteered again to help NBBF monitor the health of the marine biology (coral, fish, algae, invertebrates).

After several classroom training sessions by Dana Reed, she said, “We were all in the water for about one-and-a-half hours counting and identifying fish and taking underwater photos.”

Napili Surf Beach Resort hosted them at tables in the shade, where they talked about what they saw and looked at fish books to positively identify the fish

The FIN (Fish Identification Network) snorkeled and gathered more information the next day.

Reed reported that everyone was tired and happy by the end of these events – “with some good learning about what’s under the waves at Napili Bay.”

NBBF thanked the grant sponsors, volunteers from Maui Prep High School, the marine biology and water quality instructors, and the adult volunteers who participated in these events.