Blue'Aina with Surfrider Foundation & Maui Hotel and Lodging Association
During this year’s summer months, Blue‘Aina focused our efforts on some unique land-based events and water quality testing with the Hui O Ka Wai Ola. So September 2nd came around and we were excited to be back on the water again - and oh boy, what a truly beautiful day it was in this tropical little paradise we call home! After Hurricane Lane had us all walking on eggshells in August, everyone was ready for some sunshine and clear waters. This time around, our corporate sponsor was the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, who made an incredibly generous donation of $1,500 to Surfrider Foundation Maui, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean. On a boat sufficiently loaded with eager volunteers, the Trilogy VI headed north to Mokule‘ia Bay (commonly referred to as Slaughterhouse), so our day of living pono could officially begin!
With the sun on our cheeks and the wind in our hair, our catamaran cruised north, where we were momentarily (and happily) side-tracked by a pod of spinner dolphins that cruised over to say hello! Our guests were delighted as they watched these spunky friends of the sea jump and flip about, as we explained that Trilogy is a member of the Dolphin SMART program, so we couldn’t get TOO close. We love, and are so proud to know, that we contribute to Dolphin SMART’s mission, aimed at minimizing wild dolphin harassment and promoting stewardship of local coastal waterways. So after a few minutes, we gave a friendly wave goodbye and continued on to our final destination!
Located near Kapalua in West Maui, Mokule‘ia Bay is part of the Honolua-Mokule‘ia Bay marine life conservation district, totaling 43 acres wide. Although a bit unsettling, it got its nickname “Slaughterhouse Beach” from the decades-old slaughterhouse that used to reside up on the cliffs. The house, which was originally built by Honolua Ranch to process cattle in the area, was torn down in the 1960’s but managed to leave behind it a legacy of arguably the most ominous nickname on Maui’s west side. What you’ll actually find here in this no-take zone, though, is a picture-perfect Bay framed by dramatic cliffs, sparkling blue waters, and an abundance of underwater marine life, coral heads and lava tubes! In the winter months, Mokule’ia is home to some pretty large surf, making it dangerous for snorkelers & even sometimes the casual swimmer. However, during the summer months (like September!), this spot is usually flat and offers crystal-clear waters, primed for exploration – and sponsored Blue’Aina reef cleanups!
Our generous sponsor for September, The Maui Hotel and Lodging Association (MHLA), has been supporting Blue‘Aina for three years running - all the mahalos to them! Founded in 1987, the MHLA is an association that represents and serves as the voice of Maui County’s visitor industry and policy creation.
MHLA // Voice of the industry // “ka leo ho‘okipa”
They advocate the needs of its members to Federal, State and County government officials, ensuring that a sufficient and highly-qualified workforce is provided with meaningful careers and advancement opportunities. Throughout the year, the MHLA sponsors some amazing non-profit events on the island, like Rice For The Holidays, Na Kupuna Dinner, and the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, making them a favorite of the local community here. So you can imagine how delighted we were that the lucky recipients of our September Blue’Aina was another one of our favorites – the Surfrider Foundation of Maui!
The Surfrider Foundation is an international non-profit comprised of local chapters with over 60 of those residing in the U.S. alone, totaling 50,000+ members! This environmental organization is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research, and education. During any given month, members of the Maui Chapter can be found conducting beach cleanups, hosting environmental events, supporting other non-profits, and (of course) surfing! :) One campaign garnering much attention since its founding in March of 2017 is the Blue Water Task Force. As part of this campaign, samples from 18 different sites between Pe’ahi and Waihe’e Beach Park are collected by volunteers and taken to the Marine Biology Department at the University of Hawai’i Maui College for testing. The data is then displayed on the Surfrider website so it can be reviewed by the general community.
Ahh, what a great Sunday dedicated to our ‘aina! With a dolphin show, truly stellar weather, and two amazing local companies on board, the day was certainly a fun & educational success for our volunteers. Although we didn’t find much to actually remove from the beautiful blue waters of Mokule’ia, we can’t complain too much – it’s always a good day for us when the ocean is free of debris and plastic! So, we gathered back onto the boat to enjoy a delicious lunch provided by Trilogy, and set sail through the smooth coastal waters back toward Lahaina Harbor. Another Blue’Aina in the books!
Wanna enjoy a fun and rewarding day like this one? Well, you’re in luck! Trilogy’s Blue’Aina program has another BONUS reef cleanup in September as part of the annual Lahaina Town Cleanup, happening on Saturday the 15th. Space is still available, and we’d truly love to have your help in cleaning up our Maui reefs! Head over to the website for details and to sign up. *A hui hou*
By Contributor: Cyndie Ellis