Funding sought for new electronic water testing probe

KIHEI, HI — Nov. 24, 2017 —  This holiday season, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is asking Maui residents and visitors to give a gift for clean ocean water, by helping to fund the purchase of electronic water quality testing equipment.

The equipment is a scientific probe equipped with sensors for temperature, salinity, TDS, pH, and turbidity. It can provide instant readouts that can be transmitted to cell phones or computers via Bluetooth. The group needs $8,700 to purchase it.

“This scientific equipment will help us understand and fight the causes of sediment run-off that travels from land into the ocean,” said Robin Newbold, Chair at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council.

“When sediment is washed into the sea in the form of run-off, it causes causes murky brown water that’s not safe for swimming, diving, snorkeling or surfing,” explained Newbold. “The sediment also settles onto the corals, blocking the sunlight they need to live.”

Newbold noted that the new probe will help fight run-off by making it possible for the MNMRC team to monitor streams that flow into the ocean. If the probes show that the streams are carrying more sediment than usual, the team can sound the alarm and initiate quick remedial action.

“By positioning the probe at different points along a stream, we can even pinpoint where the run-off is originating, so we can work with the right landowners to address the problem,” said Newbold.

“We can also tow the probe behind small boats, paddle boards or kayaks,” she said. “By traveling parallel and perpendicular to the shore, we can gather data on how far and wide pollution and sediment run-off extends into the ocean.”

The probe can also help assess if nutrient-laden water from injection wells, cesspools and septic systems is flowing into the sea below ground.

“With the probe, we can also test vertically into the water column at sites like Canoe Beach on West Maui to determine if such pollution is seeping up from the ocean floor,” commented Newbold.

Expanding a successful water quality testing program
According to Newbold, the probe will be a valuable addition to MNMRC’s volunteer-based Hui O Ka Wai Ola Water Quality testing program which currently tests 36 shoreline sites on Maui on a regular basis. The probe will improve the efficiency of current water testing efforts and provide an instant reading of testing results.

“As a community based nonprofit, we’re working for clean ocean water, healthy coral reefs and abundant native fish for the islands of Maui County,” said Newbold. “We’re a small non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization,  so each donation will be specifically for the water quality probe. You’ll get the satisfaction of making a difference and your donation will be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. law.”

To donate, please follow this link, All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. law.


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