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West Maui Kumuwai extends its ‘quarantine-friendly’ Earth Month activities throughout the summer

By Staff | May 14, 2020

Mana Taira participated in Earth Month activities by doing some citizen science reef fish surveys. Mana received a gift card to Maui Diving Scuba & Snorkel Center.

WEST MAUI – Like everyone else in the environmental community, the West Maui Kumuwai campaign scrambled in March to adjust its Earth Month activities.

Its mission is to promote community action to reduce the land-based pollution that harms our coral reefs – probably not something that is on most priority lists during a public health crisis.

However, the campaign promotes a number of ocean-friendly activities that are still do-able despite our new reality under social distancing conditions. So, instead of conducting in-person public engagement events this spring and summer, a way of “virtually” bringing people together around a series of environmental activities was devised.

West Maui Kumuwai purchased gift cards to local essential businesses and has been distributing them to local Maui residents who simply send in a photo of themselves engaged in one of several ocean-friendly activities.

These businesses include CJ’s Deli & Diner, Sea House Restaurant, Down the Hatch, Ace Hardware Lahaina, Maui Sporting Goods, West Maui Sports & Fishing Supply, New Maui Fishing Supply, and Maui Diving Scuba & Snorkel Center.

Lopaka and Lehua Wilson with the ocean-friendly garden they started.

Activities are designed to fit into new or changing circumstances, such as home-schooling, growing a “Victory Garden,” doing garden and 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 have been shared through a series of posts on West Maui Kumuwai’s website (www.WestMauiKumuwai.org > News & Events) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WestMauiKumuwai).

For parents or teachers looking for activities, there is an ocean “public service announcement” challenge for kids to share a specific “what you can do” message to help our ocean and reefs, and some tips on citizen science activities.

One new citizen science activity West Maui Kumuwai is testing out equips kids with a datasheet so they can count piles of dog poop in their neighborhood, in hopes of identifying hot spots near storm drains and waterways. Other ocean-friendly activities include washing your car on the lawn while using a nozzle and non-toxic/biodegradable soap, and picking up trash along the beach and waterways.

To receive a gift card (while supplies last, to Maui residents, one per family), e-mail WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com a photo or a screenshot of your social media post (if applicable) along with your name and an address to where the gift card can be mailed, and any preference for a specific business/restaurant.

Rhonda Park and her ocean-friendly lanai garden, making the best use of space.

Prizes for participants are gift certificates to a variety of Maui restaurants that are still open for takeout or delivery service, for dive and sporting goods shops to help families purchase gear for exercising and fishing, and to Ace Hardware in Lahaina for purchasing ocean-friendly supplies. This will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, as supplies will be limited.

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.