New Coral Reef Signs Installed at 39 Maui Beaches
To help visitors and residents protect Maui’s coral reefs, the nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council has installed new coral reef information signs at 39 Maui beaches.
The signs feature large colorful photos of sea turtles, corals and marine life, and the headline, “Protect Maui’s Coral Reefs.” The signs instruct beachgoers to avoid walking or standing on coral because coral is alive and easily damaged by such actions. Other advice includes choosing sunscreen that’s free of reef-harming oxybenzone and octinoxate, and protecting sea turtles and other wildlife by giving them their space.
“Our goal was to use colorful eye-catching photography to attract people to the signs and then to provide friendly and compelling information about the basics of protecting the reefs while they snorkel, swim, dive, paddle or surf,” said Mike Fogarty, Acting Director of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “We’re very pleased with the result and the positive reaction from the public.”
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council was able to create and produce these signs with support provided by Hawaiʻi Tourism plus assistance from Maui Visitors Bureau.
The signs were designed by Geoff Moore, owner of Silver Moon Art and Design in Pāʻia. Photographs for the sign were donated by Drew Sulock, a local nature/adventure photographer and owner of Drew Sulock Creations.
Thorne Abbott of Coastal Planners, LLC donated time to help Maui Nui Marine Resource Council with permitting requirements. The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation also provided assistance in planning the installation of the signs at County parks.
The signs were installed by two local companies: Maui Rebuilders LLC and Maui Neon & Signs.
Twenty-nine of the signs are replacements for coral reef information signs created and installed about ten years ago by Project S.E.A.-Link. The signs had since become faded and weather-worn. An additional ten signs were installed at new locations, including Hoʻokipa, Launiupoko and Polo Beach.
“I’m really proud to have been an ongoing part of this public awareness campaign, and to have the opportunity to update the graphics and messaging to be fresh and relevant,” said Geoff Moore, who had designed both the original signs and the newly installed signs. “It’s important to me to inform Maui’s ocean users about protecting our coral reefs. I believe this will give the animals there the best opportunity to survive amongst so many environmental challenges.”
The coral reef information signs include a link to a snorkeling information page at www.mauireefs.org/snorkel which was created by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council and includes free downloadable fish cards, instructional videos and other information about snorkeling on Maui.
“The coral reef signs help to reinforce messages that visitors will see on the window displays that Maui Nui Marine Resource Council installed at the Kahului Airport,” says Fogarty. “We’re now planning public service announcements and social media advertising to provide additional reinforcement of these important reef conservation points.”
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a community-based nonprofit celebrating 12 years of working for healthy coral reefs and clean ocean water for the islands of Maui County. To learn more, please visit www.mauireefs.org.