NOAA/SeaWeb Campaign Wins 'The Maui News' Award

cover of The Maui News Newspaper

The largest newspaper on the island of Maui, Hawaii, honored the West Maui Kumuwai campaign as one of the '2013 People Who Made a Difference'. The West Maui Kumuwai campaign, part of NOAA/SeaWeb partnership to communicate the value of coral ecosystems to diverse audiences, was launched in 2013 to save coral reefs starting in Maui residents' backyards. The team behind the campaign is made up of community members and individuals from nonprofits and state and federal agencies, and has rallied residents to reduce polluted runoff along West Maui beaches. By telling the stories of people in the community that are already doing things to help coral ecosystes, West Maui Kumuwai inspires others to get involved.

At the June 2013 kick off event, 50 volunteers planted more than 1,000 plants at Hanakao'o Beach Park to beautify and to reduce soil runoff into the nearby Wahikuli stream. Continued to outreach to residents through pledge programs and events teach them how to build rain gardens, appropriate native plants to choose and proper uses of fertilizer. A West Maui Kumuwai program called Ocean Preferred Partners has signed on Maui retailers to post signs and stickers on fertilizer and pesticide products that are less harmful to ocean wildlife. Maui landscape companies have also joined by committing to ocean-friendly practices.