Over 30 volunteers stencil 90 Napili storm drains for an Earth Month event
NAPILI – In celebration of Earth Day, a community storm drain stenciling event was held in Napili, drawing over 30 volunteers from not just the surrounding neighborhood but from many other areas across Maui.
In just a few hours, seven teams of individuals were able to paint approximately 90 storm drains with a message: “Don’t Dump Drains To Ocean.”
This serves as an important reminder that storm drains lead directly to the ocean and bring 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.
In partnership with the County of Maui, West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative and Maui Ocean Center, West Maui Kumuwai has been coordinating storm drain stenciling events this year.
A previous outing in March resulted in over 50 drains in the Honokowai region being marked.
This activity has turned out to be very fun and surprisingly popular, drawing volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, families, students and resort staff from the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas and Napili Kai Beach Resort.
According to event Co-coordinator Tova Callender, as she visited each team, it was all smiles and enthusiasm on display. The team members reported positive interactions with curious residents as well.
Barbie Dofa of Napili Kai Beach Resort commented, “It was nice to get out in the community and spread the awareness.”
James Flavin, who traveled from Pukalani with his son, Alex, a student at Carden Academy of Maui, added, “It was great to meet new people who care about the environment.”
In addition to the storm drains associated with county roadways, the drains within Napili Kai Beach Resort and the residential community Napili Villas were also marked upon permission from the properties’ management.
West Maui Kumuwai coordinates an Ocean-Friendly Property program and invites West Maui businesses, condos and resorts to join.
Those wishing to get involved in stenciling or other watershed stewardship activities in West Maui can e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com, call or text (808) 283-1631 or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai to find the latest event schedule.
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.