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      Aquatic Biologist Russell Sparks of Hawaii Department of Aquatic Resources to be Guest Speaker at March Meeting of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council

      MA’ALAEA, HI — A free presentation offering updates on the State of Hawaii’s management of Maui’s nearshore fisheries and coral reef resources will be featured at the Wednesday, March 7 meeting of the nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. The talk will be presented by guest speaker Russell Sparks, Aquatic Biologist of State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources. Sparksʻ presentation will also include an update on the status of Mauiʻs reefs following the bleaching event of 2015.

      The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 pm at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Discovery Center Classrooms at Ma’alaea Harbor Shops at 300 Ma’alaea Rd, Wailuku (next to Maui Ocean Center). The talk is free and everyone is invited. Refreshments will be served.

      Maui Nui Marine Resource Council (MNMRC) is a Maui-based nonprofit working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and the restoration of abundant native fish in the nearshore waters of the islands of Maui County.

      At the March 7 meeting, MNMRC staff will be offering updates on their recent and ongoing projects, including the expansion of a volunteer-based water quality monitoring program to include 48 sites in South and West Maui and a study of corals off Olowalu.

      Sparks received his B.S. in Biology from Oregon State University. He received his M.S. in Marine Biology from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1996. Since 1998 Russell has worked for the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources as an education specialist and more recently as an aquatic biologist. He is currently responsible for leading the design, implementation, and overall management of the Maui marine monitoring program, and for working with stakeholders and communities to develop marine management programs aimed at adaptively managing nearshore fisheries and coral reef resources.

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