Maui Community Responds to the Tsunami
COMMUNITY WORK DAY
Video by the
Kihei Community Association
The Kihei community came together to restore the Ko'ie'ie Fishpond at Kalepolepo Park, which the tsunami filled with sand and sediment.
Although Maui was spared the worst impact from the tsunami in Hawaii, the waves still damaged property and swept equipment and other debris out to sea. The community has come together incredibly quickly to clean up reefs and beaches.
Lahaina Harbor in West Maui and Ma'alaea Harbor in Central Maui sustained a significant amount of damage from the tsumani surge. Waves there carried off metal ramps, parts of the docks and slips, scuba tanks, and other supplies.
As part of their ongoing Blue'aina Campaign, local marine recreation company Trilogy Excursions and the Surfrider Foundation's Maui Chapter organized a big community cleanup of Ma'alaea Harbor and the nearby reefs. CORAL's Liz Foote joined about 150 volunteers at the April 3rd event, and participants raised over $1,300 for tsunami relief in Japan—an amount that Trilogy will match.
|Collected cigarette butts|
Volunteers showed up bright and early at Ma'alaea harbor to board the Trilogy II and the Mahana Nai'a, a catamaran operated by another marine recreation company that supported the effort. Additional participants cleaned up debris around the break wall area and closer to shore in the harbor. In a few hours, volunteers filled many trash bags with general rubbish (including 1,700 cigarette butts!), as well as debris dislodged during the tsunami.
|CORAL's Liz Foote helps with the cleanup efforts|
Due to the weather, the team was unable to target the area directly outside the harbor as planned, but the Mahana Nai'a took a group of SCUBA divers and snorkelers to the Pali, an area that typically accumulates a lot of debris from fishing. Volunteers recovered enough line, hooks, and sinkers from the reef to fill several large buckets.
Hawaiian Paddle Sports provided surfboards and water safety officers to assist participants in hauling the trash back to the boat, and Aloha Waste Systems donated the use and removal of a dumpster to effectively handle the debris collected.
|The day's haul|
After removing hundreds of pounds of trash from the environment, participants enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Stella Blues, Maui Flavors Catering, Beach Bums, Outback Steakhouse, and Trilogy Excursions.
The contributions and cooperation of so many local businesses and volunteers made this event a resounding success. Mahalo to all in the community who made it possible!
Photos by Mikol Westling