We’re been hearing a lot about Victory Gardens lately, as people are understandably concerned about food supply chains, or may not be thrilled about waiting in line to enter grocery stores full of other people we’re supposed to be avoiding at the moment. The Victory Garden movement began during WWI and picked up again during WWII, and it seems to be having a resurgence amidst the coronavirus pandemic. We’re hearing that new or resurrected gardens have been popping up so much on Maui that it’s becoming difficult to find seeds! So, West Maui Kumuwai is here for you with some tips on how to make your garden more ocean-friendly. And we’ve compiled some resources below for those who would like to explore more. Growing a garden is a great educational activity for one, and aside from the obvious benefit of producing food, it will get you out of the house, even if it is just your own yard!
Being ocean-friendly is all about how we use water as well as making better choices about what ends up going into the water we do use, because that water can end up in the storm drains which empty into the ocean.
Here are some general tips to follow to make your garden more ocean-friendly:
• Choose fertilizers and pesticides that are less harmful to the environment
The nutrients and chemicals typically in fertilizers and pesticides can harm coral reefs, but there are some better options out there. West Maui Kumuwai has compiled a list of ocean-preferred products on our website, here.
These brands were selected based on EPA guidelines for toxicity and environmental hazards, posing the lowest level of risk. Many comply with USDA’s organic standards as measured by OMRI (omri.org), the Organic Materials Review Institute. We also considered the products’ mobility in soil; those that have fewer active ingredients that can leach out of the root zone will contribute less to water pollution.
Look for these when you’re out shopping for your Victory Garden!
• Use less water
Using less water not only conserves water (obviously...), but less water means less runoff, and less runoff means less pollutants get picked up and washed into storm drains, ultimately ending up in the ocean. If you overfertilize your lawn, the next time your sprinkler goes off it could carry that excess material into the nearest storm drain. Think about those greasy oil stains in your driveway or the ones you’ve seen in the shopping center’s parking lot. Next time it rains, or when a sprinkler sprays water in that area, that toxic junk could get carried into the nearest storm drain as well. Not to mention garbage and other forms of debris that can end up in drains too. Our stormwater runoff is not treated, and in many places in West Maui it is carried from a drain to the ocean rather quickly and efficiently. Next time you’re out on a walk, see if you can figure out where the storm drains that you encounter go, and where they discharge via pipes along the shoreline. Visit our Water Smart Outdoors page for tips on reducing your water use.
• Choose the right plants
Choose native or drought-tolerant species of plants, and choose the right plant for the right place. It is not only culturally-appropriate to choose native plants, but it will save water (and money) as they are already adapted for the local habitat. More tips and links can be found on West Maui Kumuwai’s Plant Pono page.
BONUS! The first four Maui households who send us a photo of themselves with their garden (that we can share on our website & social media) will receive $25 gift certificates to Ace Hardware in Lahaina, to help you get the ocean-friendly supplies you need!
Just email your photo to us (feel free to share it on your own social media too, using #MauiEarthMonth2020) and include the name of the person who will be going in to Ace to pick it up and do the shopping. Ace has special hours at the moment (8 am - 5 pm) and is limiting shoppers' access to 10 at a time. Many thanks to Manager Martin Hussey and his team for all the support over the years, check them out with their PPE ready to socially-distantly help you!
Gardening and gardening-related curriculum:
Got kids to homeschool? Here’s some content AND a challenge to make and share an environmental message on social media
To kick off a series of quarantine-friendly Earth month activities, we’re starting with an activity for K-12 students who are currently being homeschooled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This page has a rundown of resources you can explore with your kids, related to our goal of promoting community action to reduce the land-based pollution that harms our coral reefs. The larger message we’d like to share is that everyone can play a role in protecting our oceans and reefs – there are many actions you can take that will make a difference.
For Earth Month, we’re holding a social media messaging challenge, and for the first bunch of Maui-based K-12 students and families who participate, we will be giving away quite a few $25 gift certificates to several Maui restaurants that are still open and providing take out service (CJs Deli & Diner, Sea House, and Down the Hatch). We also have many gift certificates to dive and sporting goods shops to help families purchase gear for exercising and fishing purposes, and to Ace Hardware in Lahaina to support yard and garden care. To enter, all you have to do is post a photo of your creation (details below), share it on your preferred social media account(s) using hashtag #MauiEarthMonth2020, and drop us a line (email WestMauiKumuwai@gmail.com) with a screenshot along with your name and address so we can either mail you a gift certificate or put your name down on a list at the place where you can use it. This will be done on a first-come first-serve basis once we receive your email (one entry per household please), as supplies will be limited. Check out the other posts in our series for additional ways to "win" a gift card.
How to participate:
Choose one of the ocean-friendly behaviors from the list below, and use your forces of creativity to make a PSA (“Public Service Announcement”) of your own, in any form you like. It could be a simple drawing, a poster, a video, a story with a moral at the end, a fact sheet, a diorama…whatever! Just make it and share it. All we ask is that it has a “take action” component and highlights one specific thing that someone could do – see the examples below. Spend some time learning about the issue before you make your PSA.
Want some inspiration from the Division of Aquatic Resources? Check out these PSAs here or for a more recent and relevant topic, check out this very official one on hand-washing from the CDC, or this much sillier one from the Hawaii Department of Health.
Ocean-Friendly Actions for Earth Month PSA Creation Activity:
Choose one of the following actions people can take to protect our oceans and reefs, and create a message encouraging people to do it. How and why should they take action?
To explore these issues, you can start here on West Maui Kumuwai’s “what you can do” page , and also visit these sites:
Let’s face it. This really sucks. It’s traumatic. We can all agree on that. “Normal” is out the window, and we don’t know when we’ll be able to resume whatever will be left of the “normal” we once knew. Hopefully we can make some improvements to the systems that are failing us and create a new, better “normal.” But in the meantime, we’re stuck with whatever this “normal” is, which obviously varies depending on our individual situations. Everyone is being challenged differently, everyone is coping in different ways. Amidst all this, so many people on Maui are stepping up to help others while adhering to the social distancing requirements. That needs to remain our top priority.
Recognizing that things are operating differently right now, we at West Maui Kumuwai wanted to assess the situation, to determine what is and is not appropriate for us to be doing at the moment. Seriously, who is *really* thinking about stormwater runoff and land-based pollution right now?
Exactly. And that’s fine.
However, we know that so many people do care about our environment, and it is Earth Month. So, how can we build some ocean-friendly activities into our current reality, in an unobtrusive way that respects everyone’s priorities and circumstances?
We did some “research” of sorts. We looked around, and we noted what people are doing, how they’re doing things differently, and how they’re doing new things. We came up with some ideas we’ll be sharing in more detail through a series of posts on our website throughout the month.
Here’s a rundown, based on the new reality in which we find ourselves, of activities you may already be doing, that can be made more ocean-friendly with minimal effort:
Finally, one thing we will be doing that we wanted to share up front is giving back to the essential businesses that have supported us through the years. Instead of asking local businesses for prize donations this year, we’ll be using the funds that would have supported our public events to purchase gift certificates from places that are still operating at the moment, particularly West Maui restaurants. For starters, we’ll be giving these out as part of an Earth Month activity for kids being homeschooled. Read about how you can participate here; check out all the other posts too to see how you can participate in other #MauiEarthMonth2020 activities and receive a gift card.
We would like to thank the Doolin Foundation for Biodiversity for their generous contribution to West Maui Kumuwai and the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. Their gift means a lot to us and the many Maui other conservation organizations they support. It was great meeting Eric Doolin and Janna Phillips (below), they are champions for Maui's biodiversity!
Wrap up & Mahalos for the 2019 Ridge to Reef Rendezvous and Keiki & 'Ohana Catch & Release Fishing Tournament
Below are just a few of the photos from this year's event; for more, check out this album on Facebook
Mahalo to the team from AKAKU for covering the event; here is a video produced by AKAKU Youth Exchange Reporters Alax & Zariah
The event was coordinated by partners within the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative (R2R) and funded by the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources. Additional event support and funding provided by the Coral Reef Alliance, Maui Diving - Scuba & Snorkel Center, and Kohola Brewery.
Lunch was generously donated by CJ's Deli & Diner Comfort Zone Restaurant and the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas. The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas also provided recycling containers for the event.
Prizes for the scavenger hunt and fishing tournament were generously donated by local Maui businesses, including: All About Fish Maui, Atlantis Submarines Maui, Captain Steve's Rafting Adventures, Down the Hatch, DUO @ The Four Seasons Resort, Duke's Beach House, Honu Seafood & Pizza, Island Press Coffee, Kapalua Ziplines, Ko Restaurant at Fairmont Kea Lani, Leilani's On The Beach, Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, Mahina Boutique, Mala Ocean Tavern, Merriman's Kapalua, Malolo Molokini Snorkeling Tour, Maui Sporting Goods, New Maui Fishing Supply, Sea House Restaurant, Star Noodle, The Snorkel Store, Trilogy Excursions, UFO Parasail & Adventures, West Maui Sports & Fishing Supply, and Whale Trust
Mahalo to the Ridge to Reef Hui Tent partners: Hawai‘i DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) - Division of Aquatic Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement, Marine 30x30 Initiative; Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary; Hui o ka Wai Ola; NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Protected Resources Division; Mauna Kahālāwai Watershed Partnership; Whale Trust; The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi; Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research, Inc.; Sharkastics; Hawaiian Hawksbill Conservation; Trilogy Excursions Blue'Aina; Maui Nui Marine Resource Council; Coral Reef Alliance; and West Maui Kumuwai
Mahalo to Adam Wong and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources for coordinating the Keiki & 'Ohana Catch & Release Fishing Tournament
Mahalo to marine scientist Darla White for leading the reef tour
Mahalo to the Kaanapali North Beach Masters Association which manages the privately-owned park where the Ridge to Reef Rendezvous took place
Mahalo to the Wednesday evening lecture series speakers: Dr. Ivor Williams, Darla White, Donna Brown, and Ekolu Lindsey
Mahalo to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, led by Patty Miller & Amy Eldredge, for coordinating the K-12 student art contest and hosting the Wednesday evening lecture series
Mahalo to Maui Diving - Scuba & Snorkel Center for coordinating a fantastic ridge to reef cleanup with over 100 people
Mahalo to Kohola Brewery for hosting Science Night, brewing Reef Geeks Hazy IPA in support of the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative, and throwing a beer release party after the cleanup
Mahalo to the University of Hawaii Maui College Marine Option Program for all the help developing and deploying the "Haunted Reef"
Mahalo to the Lahaina News for publishing a series of articles linked to the event, and to Maui Now and Malika Dudley for a great video feature
Mahalo to event photographer Ananda Stone of Splash Productions for capturing the day so beautifully
And finally, mahalo to all the fantastic volunteers who made the event possible: Charley Dofa, Karen & John Seebart, Linda Tesar-Amimoto, Eileen Robb, Jeep Dunning, Lisa Davis, TaylorRose Stone, Sanoma Boynton, Stephanie Pettee, Makayla Richmond, Caroline Sabharwal, Carrie DeMott, Robyn Walters, Joseph deLoache, Lynne Masters, Nancy & John Norman, Larry Boysen, Deborah Johnson, Grover Hatch, Nanette Bowan, Teje , Jim & Cathy Maxwell, and Sheila Murphy
We had another fantastic event, with 53 young fishers and their families entering the tournament! Mahalo once again to Adam Wong of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources, for coordinating the event, part of the Ridge to Reef Rendezvous. Prizes for the tournament were generously donated by All About Fish, Maui Sporting Goods, New Maui Fishing Supply, and West Maui Sports & Fishing Supply.
More photos from the tournament can be found in a Facebook album here, and from the overall event, here.
1st place: Purnat Durso (5.75”)
2nd place: Aubrey Phillips (5.5”)
3rd place: Kaos Samudio (5.25”)
4th place: Zachary Valdez Jr (5.1”)
1st place: Kanoelani Hapakuka (13.75” lai)
2nd place: Aiden Pacheco (10.5” humu)
3rd place: Nash Okano (9.75” hagi)
4th place: Kaleb Okano (9.5” weke)
Kanon Kayyem (7” humu)
What a great day with Maui Diving - Scuba & Snorkel Center, Koholā Brewery, and West Maui Kumuwai - over 100 people came out to Mala Wharf to participate in a ridge to reef cleanup, including over 60 divers, followed by a beer release party for Reef Geeks Hazy IPA, a special limited release brew in support of the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative! Thank you to Maui Diving - Scuba & Snorkel Center and Koholā Brewery for all their support of this year's Ridge to Reef Rendezvous!
More photos and video from the event are posted on our Facebook page.
Dr. Ivor Williams' presentation: "The Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area: Insights from 10 Years of Science and Management"
We were honored to have Dr. Ivor Williams of NOAA come to Maui to present on the science behind the KHFMA. Dr. Williams has been researching this region since before the KHFMA was established. Check out the video from the presentation that we live-streamed to Facebook:
As part of this year's Ridge to Reef Rendezvous, students in grades K-12 are encouraged to enter our Ridge 2 Reef Art Contest! Art work will be displayed and prizes awarded at the event, on Saturday October 26th at Kahekili Beach Park. Event attendees will have the chance to vote for finalists selected from the entries. Winners from each grade level group will receive a prize, and one grand prize will be awarded.
Art Materials: Art entries must be no larger than 8 1⁄2” X 11” and be created on paper, cardboard or foam board. Arts and crafts materials may be used, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, yarn, etc. Computer-generated artwork and text WILL NOT be accepted. Submit art in a flat envelope.
All entries must also be clearly labeledon the back, upper left hand corner with the student’s first and last name, and phone number and/or email address. (PLEASE PRINT).
Deadline: Oct 15, 2019
Entries can be mailed or delivered to: Patty Miller, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary, 726 S. Kihei Road, Kihei, HI 96753
Everyone can play a role in protecting our oceans and reefs-there are many actions you can take that will make a difference!
If you were in charge of protecting the ocean and coral reefs, what would you tell people they should do (or not do) to help keep marine life and their home healthy?
What actions can people take to protect our oceans and reefs? Choose one action, and create a message encouraging people what to do. How and why should they take action?
Bonus! Social Media Challenge
Students can earn an extra entry into our fantastic prize drawing at the Ridge to Reef Rendezvous by sharing their stewardship messages on their own social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook), using the hashtag #R2R10th in one of two ways:
1) post a photo of the artwork they entered into this contest, or
2) make a short video or caption a photo about the stewardship message they chose.
Social media posts must use the hashtag #R2R10th, and be posted by 9 am on Friday, October 25th in order to be entered into the drawing, and students must be present at the Ridge to Reef Rendezvous to claim prizes won in the drawing.
DOWNLOAD THE CONTEST FLIER HERE
check out some photos from last year's event, below, and in our Facebook album!
from the Eyes of the Reef Monitoring Network for Coral Bleaching & Disease, Crown-of-Thorns Sea Stars and Marine Invasive Species:
Calling all Ocean Users! We have a bleaching event in progress!
Prepare for Bleachapalooza 2019
Join the citizen science team and help report coral bleaching sightings! Two training workshops are happening on Maui:
When: Tuesday, September 24th, 6 pm – 8 pm *or* Wednesday, October 9th, 6 pm – 8 pm
Where: NOAA Humpback Whale Sanctuary, 726 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, 96753
What: Details below:
YOU CAN HELP!
Participation is simple: attend a training workshop and use your eyes! Attend this 2-hour workshop to learn how to identify and report coral bleaching, coral disease, Crown-of-Thorns Sea Stars and marine invasive species. Whether you are a recreational ocean user, recreational or commercial fisherman, tourism operator, researcher or student, you can help us learn more about when and where these events occur by keeping an eye out for signs of change when visiting the reef.
Pollution, climate change, and poor land use practices create environmental conditions that foster coral disease and coral bleaching, support the spread of invasive species and threaten reef health. Early detection of these events is important in protecting our reef resources. Detecting the initial signs of any of these events on our local reefs requires a wide network of observers providing regular reports of conditions throughout the region. The Eyes of the Reef Network has been designed to provide reliable reports on bleaching, disease, and changing reef conditions throughout Hawai‘i by training community members how to spot and report these events early on.
For more information on Eyes of the Reef Network, contact your Maui Island Coordinators:
Darla White at 808-345-2312 or email
Donna Brown at 808-283-3423 or email
visit the Eyes of the Reef Hawaii website
News and Events
The latest happenings in West Maui. For upcoming events, please visit our Facebook page.