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Napili residents invited to join storm drain stenciling community event

By Staff | Apr 13, 2018

A group of volunteers gathered to stencil storm drains in Honokowai in early March. The next community storm drain stenciling event will be held in Napili on Saturday, April 14. PHOTO BY LIZ FOOTE.

NAPILI – In celebration of Earth Day, a community storm drain stenciling event will be held in Napili on Saturday, April 14.

Napili Plaza businesses Maui Tacos, The Coffee Store and Napili Market will donate breakfast, coffee and water, respectively; Maui Ocean Center will give participants two 1-Day Journey passes each; and the West Maui Kumuwai campaign will be giving out T-shirts to those who join a team to make a mark in the surrounding Napili neighborhoods.

Training in the method and all materials required for this simple and fun activity will be provided by organizers.

This event follows a successful stenciling outing in Honokowai coordinated by the West Maui Kumuwai campaign in early March, when a team of ten people were able to mark nearly 50 drains along Lower Honoapiilani Road and within the properties of Maui Kai, Aston Mahana at Kaanapali, Aston at Papakea Resort, Maui Lani Terraces, Lokelani condominiums, and 5A Rent a Space’s location.

Liz May, owner of 5A Rent a Space, was one of the volunteers participating in the Honokowai event; afterwards, she noted, “our visitors thanked us for doing this and appreciated our efforts.”

Amy Fonarow of Maui Ocean Center, a partner in the stenciling initiative, also volunteered and shared the following story and invitation: “I’ve felt the ocean to be family since before I can remember. The last time I dealt with storm drains, I’d followed a trail of milky water running down the gutter to a person standing in their front yard, rinsing off their paint roller with a hose. I asked them to please stop, and I explained that those chemicals were going straight into the sea. The person kindly stopped, and then said that they hadn’t even thought about it.

“In Honokowai this March, West Maui Kumuwai taught us volunteers to stencil storm drains with a clear message: ‘Don’t Dump/Drains To Ocean.’ The new signs will help people think about that connection more often and lead to a healthier ocean for us all. What a gift! I hope you’ll join up for the next stenciling on Maui!”

The County of Maui’s storm drain stencils feature an image of Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (reef triggerfish) in addition to the “no dumping” message.

Storm drain stenciling is a great way to raise awareness that Maui’s storm drains empty directly to the ocean, bringing with them all the pollutants that accumulate on land and run off during storm events or as a result of irrigation practices.

These pollutants range from oil leaking from poorly-maintained vehicles, excess fertilizer from landscaping activities, sediments loosened due to erosion and other forms of land-based pollutants carrying substances that ultimately harm Maui’s nearshore reef ecosystem.

Participants should meet at 9 a.m. in the Napili Plaza parking lot (5095 Napilihau St.). Bring a water bottle and sun protection; other necessary materials will be provided in addition to refreshments.

Volunteers ages 12 and up are sought; all youth must be accompanied by an adult. To sign up or ask any questions about the event, contact Liz Foote at (808) 283-1631 or WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com.

More on this and other events can be found on the West Maui Kumuwai Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai. To learn more about stormwater management on Maui, visit www.mauicounty.gov/2129/Storm-Water-Management-Program.

This effort is supported by the County of Maui Department of Public Works, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of Aquatic Resources and Maui Ocean Center.