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Join West Maui Kumuwai for a ‘Watershed Walk & Talk’

By Staff | Sep 10, 2015

The West Maui Kumuwai Campaign Advisory Team is comprised of leaders from within the conservation, education and resource management community on Maui. Pictured, from left, are: Bradley Mason, formerly of Sacred Hearts School; Darla White of the Division of Aquatic Resources; Sarah Bryan of Pono Project Hawai‘i; Kim Thayer of the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership; Amy Hodges of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council; Linda Castro of the Division of Aquatic Resources and Polanui Hiu Community Managed Makai Area; Ekolu Lindsey of Maui Cultural Lands and the Polanui Hiu Community Managed Makai Area; Ananda Stone of the Save Honolua Coalition; Adam Wong of the Division of Aquatic Resources; and Liz Foote of the West Maui Kumuwai Campaign and Project S.E.A.-Link. Team members not pictured include West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative Watershed and Coastal Management Coordinator Tova Callender; Jen Cox of Malama Maui Nui; Ka‘au Abraham of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Tegan Hammond of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council; Joseph Ward of Convergent Conservation; John Smith of the County of Maui; Lucienne de Naie of the Sierra Club; Andrew O’Riordan of Maui Preparatory Academy and the Surfrider Foundation; Lauren Blickley of the Surfrider Foundation; John Seebart of Makai Watch; Kelly Montenero of Trilogy Excursions’ Blue ‘Aina Campaign; and Darren McDaniel. PHOTO BY TOVA CALLENDER.

HONOKOWAI – On Friday, Sept. 18, a mobile outreach team from the West Maui Kumuwai Campaign, a Movement for Ocean Health, will be traveling through Honokowai to engage with community members, condo management and landscaping teams in order to talk story and discuss opportunities to work together to keep polluted runoff from reaching our nearshore coral reef ecosystem.

The Honokowai region was chosen as a priority focus area for the campaign because of the proximity to the ocean of so many of its properties. The storm drains in the area ensure that storm-water runoff – and all it carries with it – makes it directly to the ocean, affecting the reefs that provide us with food, shoreline protection, waves to surf, and tourism opportunities and revenue.

There are many actions that individuals can take to protect the health of the reef – particularly those who have lawns (it matters how and when we water them, and what we use to manage weeds and pests), cars (it matters how and where we wash them), and pets (it matters how we deal with their waste).

It can all seem overwhelming, but West Maui Kumuwai’s hopeful and optimistic message is that “if we each do a little, we can all do a lot,” and the campaign provides tools and resources to make it easier for people to learn more and take meaningful action.

The “Watershed Walk & Talk” team from West Maui Kumuwai will be on the go, documenting their adventures, observations and conversations along the way in real time through social media.

The group has the ambitious goal of visiting every makai condominium property between Honokowai Beach Park and Pohaku Park (S-Turns) throughout the course of the day.

As they make their way north, they hope to meet with condo owners, staff, managers and landscapers, share observations, talk about specific ways they can “green” their properties, and how West Maui Kumuwai can help facilitate, promote and amplify their efforts through its media reach.

As an example, West Maui Kumuwai coordinates an Ocean-Friendly Landscaper program consisting of a pledge to adopt a set of best lawn care practices, and they have made the call out for landscaping companies to join.

The benefits of joining – outside of the obvious environmental ones – include a listing on West Maui Kumuwai’s website, promotion through the campaign’s social media outreach, an Ocean-Friendly badge for their website and marketing, and other materials to communicate their positive actions to their clients.

Current members include A Nutt Nurseries, E’Scapes, Kaanapali Operations Association, MauiScapes, LLC, Mel’s Yard Service, SGS Hawai’i, West Maui Lawn and Landscape, and ZELM (Zero Emission Landscape Maintenance).

For those hoping to link up with the mobile team, follow them via the West Maui Kumuwai Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai), Twitter and Instagram feeds (@WMKumuwai), or simply call or text Campaign Manager Liz Foote at (808) 283-1631 to check in on their location during the day.

There will be other opportunities to connect with them at a few specific locations and times. They will kick off the tour with some time for talk story at Honokowai Beach Park from 9 to 9:30 a.m., where they will also be giving away a limited number of T-shirts and enlisting resident park-goers to take the West Maui Kumuwai Pledge for Ocean Health. They will stop for lunch at the Honokowai Okazuya & Deli (3600 Lower Honoapiilani Road) around noon, and they will gather for a “pau hana” at Maui Brewing Company’s Kahana Brewpub at 5 p.m.

For more information on the West Maui Kumuwai Campaign, visit www.westmauikumuwai.org, e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com or call Campaign Manager Foote at (808) 669-9062 or 283-1631.