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New course to teach reef- friendly shoreline innovations

By Staff | Apr 2, 2015

KAHULUI – The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is partnering with the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui to bring a new course to the University of Hawaii Maui College’s spring schedule. The five-week class, Reef-Friendly Shoreline Innovations, is designed to teach watershed stewardship and landscape design principles to shoreline property owners in an effort to reduce threats to Maui’s coral reefs.

The class will take place on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4:30 p.m. from April 23 to May 21.

“In this course, we’ll talk a lot about Low Impact Design, which focuses on using plants and landscape designs to catch stormwater and prevent it from entering our oceans,” said Wes Crile, Hawaii field manager for CORAL and one of the course instructors.

“The concepts are incredibly easy to implement and can really help Maui’s reefs recover from a lot of the stress they’ve been under.”

This class is part of a larger CORAL project to partner with hotels and communities along the West Maui coastline to protect and restore Maui’s coral reefs.

By reducing threats to reefs – such as poor water quality and overfishing – CORAL strives to create a healthy environment in which coral reefs can adapt to changes and survive long into the future for generations to come.

The new course will cater to shoreline property owners, managers, landscapers and residents interested in reef-friendly landscaping. It will cover the fundamentals of Low Impact Design (LID), irrigation management, plant selection, visitor and community engagement and more. Field trips to visit reef-friendly landscapes at various hotels are included.

The course fee is $219, or $110 with an ETF discount. Tuition assistance may be available to eligible participants.

To learn more or register for this course, visit EdVentureMaui.com or contact Melanie Stephens at mvstephe@ hawaii.edu.

According to an economic valuation study conducted in 2002, Hawaii coral reefs contribute an average of $364 million annually to the Hawaii economy.

Coral reefs around the main Hawaiian Islands are being threatened by poor water quality, much of which is caused by rainwater running off of the land and entering the marine environment, bringing with it pesticides, herbicides, nutrients and sediment – all of which are harmful to reefs.

For more information on CORAL, visit www.coral.org.