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Tenth annual Ridge to Reef Rendezvous to include free Keiki & ‘Ohana Fishing Tourney and ‘Haunted Reef’

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019

A family learns about water quality at the 2018 Ridge to Reef Rendezvous in Kaanapali. The 2019 event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26. PHOTOS BY ANANDA STONE.

KAANAPALI – This year marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA), a unique type of Marine Managed Area located in North Kaanapali.

The annual celebration began as a birthday party of sorts for the KHFMA, but in the years since it has expanded to have a mauka to makai focus and include many community partners of the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative.

Organizers also scheduled a series of evening presentations leading up to the event, in partnership with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Kohola Brewery.

This free, family-friendly, fun-filled community gathering to celebrate community stewardship in West Maui will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Kahekili Beach Park (Old Airport Beach) in North Kaanapali (65 Kai Ala Drive) and will feature food, prizes and a “Haunted Reef” to explore – just in time for Halloween.

This year, the reef is especially “haunted” by coral bleaching, and participants on the tour will have the chance to help in a citizen science effort known as “Bleachapalooza,” to help document reef conditions.

Volunteer Linda Tesar-Amimoto shows off part of the “Haunted Reef.”

Event-goers will also have the chance to vote for finalists in a K-12 art contest linked to the event.

Beginning at 8 a.m. with the fishing tournament, the main event’s check in will start at 9 a.m., to include a free T-shirt giveaway to first-time attendees while supplies last. Those who participate in the fun and educational scavenger hunt will be entered to win fabulous prizes donated by generous Maui businesses.

Lunch will be provided on a first-come/first-served basis by the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas and CJ’s Deli & Diner. The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas is also supporting recycling for the event, and the lunch service will be free of single-use plastics, featuring reusable tableware.

The Keiki Catch and Release Fishing Tournament will feature more fun and prizes. It’s open to youth of all ages who are accompanied by an adult. There is no entry fee to participate. Entrants will also need to bring their own fishing gear.

R2R Hui Event Exhibitors include the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources; Division of Fish and Wildlife; Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement; 30×30 Initiative; Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Hui o ka Wai Ola; NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Protected Resources Division; Mauna Kahalawai Watershed Partnership; Whale Trust; The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii; Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research Inc.; Turtle Island Restoration Network; Trilogy Excursions Blue’Aina; Maui Nui Marine Resource Council; Coral Reef Alliance; Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute; and West Maui Kumuwai.

Grant and donation support for these events has been provided by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources and the Coral Reef Alliance.

For more information, visit West Maui Kumuwai’s website (www.WestMauiKumuwai.org > News & Events) or Facebook page, e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com or call (808) 283-1631.

For questions about the fishing tournament, contact Adam Wong, tournament coordinator and education specialist with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources, at (808) 243-5294 or Adam.K.Wong@hawaii.gov.

The location for this event, Kahekili Beach Park, is privately owned and maintained by the Kaanapali North Beach Masters Association at their sole expense. This beach park property and its facilities are made available to the public for primarily casual park uses and beach access; subject to signage at the park which clearly indicates and states rules and regulations for use and enjoyment of the facilities during posted hours only and strictly prohibiting commercial uses.