Boy-oh-boy, what a BUSY month we’ve had here at Trilogy!! And though we’re already into October, we want to show our September 15th Blue’Aina reef cleanup their due blog love! This trip was extra special for us, as it was not only part of the 14th Annual Lahaina Town Clean-up, but was also held on Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day! Add to that our three-peat sponsorship by Westin KOR, and our extra beloved non-profit org, Love the Sea, who is currently on a citizen science voyage in the South Pacific… well, how can we top that?! We just had so many things to celebrate on this beautiful September day.
To step back for a moment - the Lahaina Town Cleanup is supported by Malama Maui Nui’s “Get the Drift and Bag it” campaign. “Get the Drift and Bag It” is an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to join together in a global effort to remove litter and debris from our coastal environment. This event is held on the 3rd Saturday every year in September and has been going on for over 30 years (holy cow!). To put things in perspective, that’s…
30 years of “getting the drift”
10.5 million participants worldwide
An estimated 192 million pounds of litter collected (swoon)
We simply love this day! So of course, we were excited to do our part in support of the Lahaina Community as we set sail on a beautiful Trilogy catamaran to kickoff this month’s reef cleanup.
As we climbed aboard, Campbell Farell, from Love the Sea, shared with us a mantra that he lives by - fix it local, take it global – which perfectly summed up the day’s events and set the tone for our underwater reef cleanup. This time out, we headed to Mala Wharf, a popular destination for our Blue’Aina events, and always in need of a little cleaning. As we set sail, we waved to our onshore friends at the Surfrider Foundation, who were dedicating their own morning to a cleanup of the Lahaina shoreline! By land or by sea, Lahaina town would be as good as new (and minus a couple dozen bags of trash!) by the end of the day.
Mala Wharf was once a fully functioning pier and shipping facility for the island's pineapple and agricultural exports, although now the dock at the wharf has slowly aged and broken down over the years, after havoc from a 1992 hurricane. The old dock pieces now lie along the ocean floor and serve as a beautiful “artificial” reef, full of tropical marine life. These dock pieces, however, are unfortunately also known for snagging fishing line, hooks, and pieces of plastic that float near the shoreline of Lahaina. On this beautiful Saturday, we sent 40 free-diving, trash-seeking volunteers into the ocean to remove as much of this foreign debris as they could. Filling their collection bags with fishing line, they gradually began to clean our sparkly blue Maui waters! A small group even went back out to collect old pieces of rebar and metal that had been slowly degrading on the ocean floor – all the mahalos! Take a peek at our epic scores, below:
For 3 years in a row, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort and Villas (KOR) has sponsored a Blue’Aina trip, and we are always so thankful for their service and generosity! The Westin properties have a strong belief that the well-being of our society and culture are inextricably tied to the health of our environment.
They talk the talk (as seen here!) and walk the walk by prioritizing the integration of environmental practices and sustainability principles into their business strategy. By working together, or laulima, their business model aims to conserve natural resources, minimize waste pollution, enhance indoor environmental quality, establish and report on key environmental performance indicators, and raise environmental awareness among their associates, guests, business partners, and communities. This environmental awareness has garnered them a strong, positive reputation in the Maui community, and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support of our program!
This month’s non-profit donation recipients, Love the Sea, were also praising mahalos for the Westin KOR’s generous $1,000 donation to support their noble cause, which is so near and dear to our very own hearts, as well! Love the Sea is supported by a local and global network of ocean stewards, working towards the eradication of plastic pollution and marine debris. YES, yes, a thousand times yes! Last year in 2017, Love the Sea launched their first Ocean Aid event on Oahu, and with supporters such as the Surfrider Foundation, Hawaiian Wildlife Fund, and the Rising Sun among others, their mission is simple, and one we all stand behind:
A non-profit after our own hearts, Love the Sea is also supporting a citizen-science ocean voyage from California to New Zealand this fall that our very own Blue’Aina Director, Magen Schifiliti, has had the privilege of joining (that’s our girl, behind the sign in the pic below, in the blue shirt)! The Eat Less Plastic Voyage is a collaboration of conservation-minded supporters who have set sail on a four-month long journey across the South Pacific Ocean, collecting data where micro-plastic samples have never been collected before. Making nine stops along the way, the journey will be documented in VR/306 as they sail across the seas, with a mission to form lasting environmental and educational connections with the local communities that they visit along the way. You can find more about the Eat Less Plastic Voyage here. All in all, an amazing day with amazing people and that glorious Maui sunshine.
Blue’Aina’s next event actually just occurred on October 7th, with Tech Partner’s Hawai’i supporting the non-profit Turtle Island Restoration Network, and food from Down the Hatch. Our next event will be held on November 4th with non-profit recipient Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project.
We hope to see you aboard!
Photos provided by: Magen Schifiliti & Bryan Berkowitz, of the Lahaina Town Action Committee
Written by: Cyndie Ellis & Magen Schifiliti