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Volunteers help keep Maui’s reefs clean

By Staff | Mar 29, 2012

Blue’aina, a group of Maui volunteers comprised of both tourists and locals, sets out each month to conduct reef and beach clean-ups.

The next project is slated at Black Rock in Kaanapali on Sunday morning, April 1.

Trilogy Excursions donates at least one boat every month, and their crews donate their time to do the reef clean-ups in the water or on shore along with community volunteers that come aboard.

“They are in their third year of monthly clean-ups along the shores of West and South Maui. Organizers ask a $20 cash donation for each person that goes along, and at the end of each trip, they give 100 percent of that money to local ocean non-profits on a rotational basis,” explained Bo Petty, West Maui programs coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Weather permitting, the group will depart from Lahaina Harbor Pier 1. To register, e-mail cnielsen@sailtrilogy.com and include your name and phone number.

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. The boat will leave at 8 a.m. and return by noon. Bring a hat, sun block and a towel. Snorkel gear is available on board, or bring your own. Lunch is included.

This month, donations will go to the sanctuary’s nonprofit arm to support water quality monitoring and community outreach.

Targeting litter on shore and debris on the reef near Mala, Thousand Peaks and other West Maui reefs in recent years, Blue’aina is an effective, grassroots campaign to protect the island’s nearshore waters.

“Blue’aina’s objective is to clean up and maintain Maui’s reefs, educate the community and raise money for non-profits,” Petty added.

Check for last minute project updates at www.facebook.com/ BlueAina.