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West Maui Kumuwai promoting a series of quarantine-friendly Earth Month activities throughout April

By Staff | Apr 16, 2020

Christian Jorgensen, chef-owner of CJ’s Deli and Diner, along with Liz Foote (left) and Tova Callender of West Maui Kumuwai and the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. The diner has been donating food in support of WMK and its partners’ events for years, and in particular has been supporting the Ridge to Reef Rendezvous since the beginning, donating thousands of dollars of delicious gourmet food so event participants could enjoy a free lunch. PHOTO BY WEST MAUI KUMUWAI. 

WEST MAUI – West Maui Kumuwai’s mission is to promote community action to reduce the land-based pollution that harms our coral reefs – understandably not something that is top-of-mind during a global pandemic.

Every organization and resource management agency on the planet has had to reassess how (and if) they would mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year.

Recognizing that things are operating differently right now, West Maui Kumuwai has planned a series of quarantine-friendly activities that also happen to be ocean-friendly, designed to fit into the new circumstances in which we now find ourselves.

The organization is also using the opportunity to give back to essential Maui businesses that have supported its public engagement events over the years.

Instead of asking local businesses for donations this year, WMK is using funding that would have supported now-cancelled public events to purchase gift cards to local essential businesses, which it will distribute to local families as part of its activities.

Activities are designed to fit into new or changing circumstances such as homeschooling, growing a “Victory Garden,” doing yard renovations, taking dogs for (a lot more) walks, and having limited usage of the beach and ocean.

Ways to add in an “ocean-friendly” component to all these activities are being shared through a series of posts on West Maui Kumuwai’s website (www.WestMauiKumuwai.org, News & Events) and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai.

The first opportunity, now underway, is an ocean-friendly messaging challenge for any Maui-based families with K-12 students. To participate, choose one of the ocean-friendly behaviors listed on West Maui Kumuwai’s website, and use your forces of creativity to make a PSA (public service announcement”) in any format.

It could be a poster, a video, a story with a moral at the end, a fact sheet or a diorama. All WMK asks is that it has a “take action” component and highlights one specific thing that someone could do. Then share it (or a photo of it if it’s not in digital format) on your preferred social media account(s) using hashtag #MauiEarthMonth2020.

To receive a gift card (while supplies last, one per family), e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com with a screenshot of your post along with your name and an address to where the gift card can be mailed.

Prizes for participants are gift certificates to a variety of Maui restaurants that are still open for takeout or delivery service, or for dive and sporting goods shops to help families purchase gear for exercising and fishing.

This will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, as supplies will be limited, but West Maui Kumuwai anticipates giving out at least 75 gift cards through the month of April.

For information, visit www.WestMauiKumuwai.org or www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai, e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com or call (808) 283-1631.