Blue'Aina with Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas
This September marks International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) month, a campaign that began over 30 years ago. ICC month began with two individuals from the Ocean Conservancy, Linda and Kathy, who wanted to conduct a land- based cleanup but take it a step further. Their cleanup crew started documenting the trash they found, ultimately identifying ways to eliminate ocean trash in the future and the movement was catalyzed by Linda and Kathy’s passion and spirit. What started as a single cleanup in Texas has now reached a global scale: More than 100 countries now participate in ICC each year!
“Thanks to volunteers around the world, the International Coastal Cleanup has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Over the years, this movement has created a family that spans oceans and country borders. A network that works together for something bigger than us. To our global network, we thank you.” – The Ocean Conservancy Team
While ICC is celebrated all month long, a concentrated International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) takes place on September 21st, and here on Maui local non-profits, organizations, and companies come together to pick up trash.
This is the second year Trilogy was proud to host a special Blue’Aina trip in conjunction with ICCD and the annual Lahaina Town Cleanup. This year our 60 volunteers boarded Trilogy IV and headed to Honolua Bay, thanks to support from our sponsor, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
As we approached the bay we were happy to be greeted by a pod of playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Honolua Bay is situated on the West side of Maui and is a Marine Life Conservation District which means there is no fishing (or taking of any natural resources, including marine life and even rocks).
Honolua means “two harbors” in Hawaiian, and the bay was historically used by Honolua Ranch to receive supplies and ship products. Today this spot is great for snorkeling and surfing. With high amounts of activity we often find marine trash, and this Blue’Aina trip was no exception. Our volunteers pulled out a few handfuls of rusty metal and fabric.
As a recipient of multiple awards for the excellence in service, food, and experience, 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” and “walk the walk,” prioritizing the integration of environmental practices and sustainability principles into their business strategy. By working together, 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! Mahalo!
The MNMRC is a Maui-based nonprofit with a mission to restore the health of Maui’s coral reef ecosystems. Through collaboration, education, and advocacy, they work to bring human actions into balance with ecological principles and, in doing so, ensure that our near-shore waters will be restored and sustained for future generations. The MNMRC was formed in 2007 and guided by Edwin Lindsey. It consists of a Board of Directors, staff members, and also volunteers. They have three main focuses: implementing the Maui Coral Reef Recovery Plan, sponsoring water quality monitoring, and sponsoring local community groups that support effective reef management.
Coral reefs in Maui have three main stressors; water quality, sea surface temperature, and sediment accumulation. Corals are living animals and they require clean and clear water to thrive. There are 39 monitoring sites along West and South Maui which the MNMRC tests once every three weeks. Water quality can be affected by natural and anthropogenic causes. Land-based sediment naturally gets washed downhill and into the ocean, where it settles on the reef blocking it from getting sunlight. As coastal development grows, this also increases the amount of sediment displaced. Fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants get washed into the ocean when it rains which causes the coral to become stressed and potentially die. The data collected will allow for more effective management of our nearshore waters and ultimately, healthier coral reefs and cleaner ocean water for all to enjoy.
Check out footage from our International Coastal Cleanup Day Blue’Aina. As we dive further into the Fall season our next Blue’Aina is scheduled for October 6th. Head over to the Sail Trilogy website for availability & see you out on the water!
Written by Magen Schifiliti ~ Conservation & Education Director at Trilogy