homepage logo

Help Polanui Hiu protect a cherished Lahaina reef

By Staff | Feb 4, 2016

West Maui is lucky to have citizen scientists and eco-stewards keeping an active eye on the health of our reefs.

Credit people like Tamara Paltin for monitoring Honolua Bay and D.T. Fleming Beach Park, Liz Foote at Kahekili Beach Park, Mark Deakos at Olowalu and, here in Lahaina, Ekolu Lindsey and the Polanui Hiu Community Managed Makai Area.

Based near Shark Pit and the Lindsey family home, Polanui Hiu is a group of kama’aina concerned about the decline of our marine resources.

Their prime focus is the area extending from Makila Point to the punawai (water spring) fronting 505 Front Street, from the high water mark to 70 feet in ocean depth.

The name of the reef is Na Papalimu ‘O Pi’ilani, a bountiful place for limu and fish. Polanui Hiu wants to restore the healthy Native Hawaiian reef ecosystem there.

Drawing from the wisdom and practices of their ancestors, communities in Pacific island nations are coming together to effectively manage their own ocean resources.

Residents know their home reefs better than anyone, and the sad fact is government preservation, monitoring and enforcement efforts are nearly nonexistent. People who care about the ocean must act.

Polanui Hiu also conducts near shore marine surveys, educates ocean users through public outreach, offers Sustainable Tourism Certification to include local businesses in conservation efforts and provides students with opportunities to fulfill community service hours while helping the reef in Lahaina.

Why not get involved and see for yourself?

Volunteers with the Polanui Hiu Community Managed Makai Area will meet on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at 393 Front St.

Guests should bring a mask, snorkel, fins, water, snack and towel. For more information, e-mail polanuihiu@hawaii.rr.com or call 276-5593.

The group believes that by involving and uniting people of like minds and hearts, and working together, the reefs can heal and find balance.