For the second time in October, our Blue’Aina volunteers met us at Lahaina Harbor to go out on another underwater reef cleanup. Many mahalos to our Corporate Sponsor, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort and Villas who donated $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club. The food was donated by Trilogy Excursions and Prison Street Pizza.
With an impressive turnout of 45 volunteers, the group dispersed throughout the harbor to conduct a land-based trash cleanup. After picking up several bags of trash we boarded TRILOGY I. Our destination for the cleanup was Olowalu Reef. For more details on the importance of Maui's prolific Mother Reef, see our blog post: THE HISTORICAL, CULTURAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNIFICANCE OF OLOWALU, MAUI. About halfway to Olowalu Captain Jason spotted a floating piece of plastic. Practicing our man overboard drills, we effortlessly retrieved the plastic, which turned out to be a large diet Pepsi bottle. Another win for Blue’Aina. Normally Olowalu reef stays nice and clean, however, this time we found a lot of thick fishing line wrapped around the coral. As carefully as possible we cut away sections of the line and successfully removed it all.
Back on board the boat after over an hour of snorkeling, we heard from representatives from the Westin KOR and from the Boys and Girls Club. The Westin has been a long supporter of the Boys and Girls club and we want to thank them for their continued support within the community and for coming out on to participate in a Blue’Aina with us. The Boys and Girls Club of Maui has six clubhouses around the island offering safe and positive places where young people come to have fun, learn, do homework, develop social skills, express themselves creatively, and participate in sports.
There are only three Blue’Aina reef cleanups left this year so head on over to the website and make sure to get your reservation in before they fill up. And remember the December cleanup is headed to Lana'i!
By Conservation and Education Director, Magen Schifiliti