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      “Restoring the Natural Function of Mauiʻs Ahupuaʻa to Protect Mauiʻs Coral Reefs” to be Topic of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council Meeting

      Maui Nui Marine Resource Council invites the public to a free presentation at its Wednesday, June 6 meeting on “Restoring the Natural Function of Mauiʻs Ahupuaʻa to Protect Mauiʻs Coral Reefs.” The meeting will take place at Pacific Whale Foundationʻs classrooms, downstairs at the Maʻalaea Harbor Shops, from 5 to 6:30 pm with free refreshments and conversation from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

      The free talk will be presented by guest speaker Jennifer Vander Veur, Maui Program Manager of Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL).

      Vander Veur will speak about work that CORAL is doing to restore natural filtration processes within Mauiʻs ahupuaʻa (watersheds) to prevent land-based water pollution from flowing into the sea and degrading coral reefs. Sheʻll be sharing the progress made by CORAL in the Wahikulu watershed of West Maui. In this area, CORAL is working with farmers, Hawaiian communities, local nonprofits, private businesses and the government to pilot stream restoration techniques that combine modern technology with native vegetation and traditional agricultural practices.

      “CORAL is focusing on reducing the sediments from degraded agricultural land and roads from reaching our coral reefs. We are utilizing vetiver grass to stabilize sediments and help native plants become established in these altered systems,” said Vander Veur. “Through our partnerships we aim to restore the mid-slope streams and help restorate and reconnect the ahupua’a of this region.”

      Vander Veur is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, where she earned two Bachelor’s degrees in Marine Science and Conservation Biology. Upon graduation, she gained a position with the state of Hawaiʻi to establish the Aquatic Invasive Species Program on the island of Hawaiʻi. Vander Veur later completed a Master’s of Science in Marine Biology from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

      For the past 10 years she has worked for the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) managing the marine resources around the island of Kahoʻolawe. Her work included fisheries management, protected species management, integrating traditional cultural resource management with modern scientific methods and community engagement.

      Established in 2007, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to clean ocean water, healthy coral reefs and abundant native fish for Maui County.

      To learn more, visit www.mauireefs.org.

       

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