Special Event: Mapping Leeward Coral Reefs Before the Impacts of Storm Runoff from the August 2023 Wildfires

After the devastating wildfires in Lahaina and Upcountry Maui, the community has been trying to recover from the effects of this unimaginable event. Even as our community is on the mend, a second, disaster slowly approaching the island. The areas burned by the wildfires have been stripped of cover and soils and toxins are poised to wash downstream into our coastal waters and into groundwater. What the effect on our coral reefs, long-term water quality, and resources, such as food fish, will be is uncertain.

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council invites you to an important FREE Zoom webinar on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6:00 p.m. to find out more about the effort to rapidly map the current, baseline conditions of coral reefs along leeward Maui where the impacts of fire-related runoff are expected to occur. Register here: https://bit.ly/LI_coral_maps

Brett KettleYou’ll meet Dr Brett Kettle of Flying Fish Technologies, who has pioneered coral reef protection for over three decades, both on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and internationally. Brett began to prototype his long-term vision for a high-speed, broad-scale underwater visual survey tool in 2017. His vision was to document more of the Great Barrier Reef than had ever been documented before and to use emerging technologies like AI/ML to accelerate the analysis of collected data. The result is the Vertigo3 glider, a towed ROV that can survey 10ha (25 acres) an hour while recording over 50,000 high-resolution images.

During the webinar, you’ll be introduced to how Vertigo3 functions and how it is being used to image extensive sections of Maui’s leeward reefs. These images will allow comparison of the current state of coral reefs that may already have been impacted with unaffected “control” regions and will allow accurate assessment of any effects when storms deliver runoff to our precious nearshore reefs. The technology also opens up a remarkable set of opportunities to view and study Maui’s reefs from above the water in ways that were impossible until now.

Save your seat for the Webinar: https://bit.ly/LI_coral_maps

Brett deploys the Vertigo3 Glider off of the Kihei Boat Ramp in Maui, Hawaii

Brett deploys the Vertigo3 Glider off of the Kihei Boat Ramp in Maui, Hawaii. Photo: John Starmer, MNMRC.

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