homepage logo

Discover new ways to help protect Maui’s environment

By Staff | Oct 19, 2017

Oct. 28 is National Make a Difference Day, and one way Maui residents and visitors can do exactly that is by attending the West Maui Ridge to Reef Rendezvous.

This free, fun, family-friendly community gathering at Kahekili Beach Park (Old Airport Beach) in North Kaanapali will celebrate mauka to makai stewardship in West Maui.

The theme of this year’s event is “Ocean Optimism.” West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative Watershed Coordinator Tova Callender explained that “dire environmental headlines dominating the news cycle can leave a helpless feeling, so it’s good to connect with all the things that are going well, especially here on Maui.

“We invite the community to come chat with a fun bunch of people taking hopeful actions on land and in the ocean and maybe discover new ways to get involved.”

Events leading up to the rendezvous include a Science Night at Kohola Brewery in Lahaina on Oct. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (see story on page 2).

Do you ever wonder how storm water runoff and other pollutants are affecting our coastal ocean water quality? Attend (if you’re over 21) for an evening of science and brews. Learn about coastal ocean water quality in West Maui and specifically how this water quality is monitored.

Science Night will feature the presentation “What’s Happening with Maui’s Water Quality?” and an informal talk story with local representatives of the community water quality monitoring team Hui O Ka Wai Ola.

Next, check out a free screening of the documentary “Chasing Coral” at 6 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Whalers Village, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session with a team of scientists who focus on coral reefs.

This opportunity to watch the award-winning film will be enhanced by a special panel of scientists who work in Hawaii: Dr. Kirsten Oleson, Dr. Tom Oliver and Dr. Mary Donovan.

Oleson’s work on Maui focuses on understanding how nature contributes to human wellbeing, while Oliver specializes in climate change impacts on coral reef ecosystems.

Donovan, who specializes in biostatistics, ecology and marine biology, has made her mark by compiling large datasets to address questions related to marine management, including studying ecological thresholds on coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Not to be outdone, the West Maui Ridge to Reef Rendezvous will feature food, prizes, music and Maui’s first-ever “Haunted Reef” to explore just in time for Halloween.

Beginning at 8 a.m. with a Keiki Catch & Release Fishing Tournament, the main event’s check-in will start at 9 a.m. (with a free T-shirt giveaway to the first 50 first-time attendees).

Those who participate in the fun and educational scavenger hunt will be entered to win prizes donated by generous Maui businesses, and lunch will be provided by the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Maui Grill Kaanapali and CJ’s Deli & Diner.

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

This is a great opportunity to meet the people doing important work to protect Maui from the mountains down to the sea. Learn about local efforts and get involved!