Maui County’s coral reefs are important to our community

At Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, we recognize that Maui County’s reefs are a vital part of our island community. We depend on coral reefs to provide food, support thousands of jobs, and protect our shorelines from storm surge and erosion.

Our coral reefs need help

Unfortunately, 25% of Maui’s surveyed reef sites are dead. Half of Maui’s surveyed reef sites are declining in health.

Maui also has the 2nd lowest fish abundance in the Hawaiian Islands. Some native fish stocks have declined by 90%.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, Maui has Hawaii’s most polluted coastal waters. From 2012-2014, 90% of the water samples collected in Maui coastal waters failed to meet State standards. DT Fleming Beach Park and many other places face chronic brown water events.

Addressing the threats

As a Maui-based nonprofit, we believe in the power of community involvement, partnerships, and public education to solve these and other problems that undermine the quality of our nearshore ocean waters and coral reefs. After all, many of the threats impacting Maui County’s reefs and nearshore ocean water begin on land, right here on our islands.

Working together to protect our nearshore ocean environment

Many problems facing Maui County's local reefs originate on land, which is why our projects and programs are community-based and work from mountains (mauka) to sea (makai).

Protect Coral Reefs

Maui Coral Reef Recovery Team

In 2010, MNMRC brought together 16 of Hawaii’s leading coral reef scientists, community members, and management experts to create a Maui Coral Reef Recovery Plan. The group continues to advise us and monitor our progress.
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Olowalu Biomarker Research Project

What environmental factors are stressing Maui’s corals near Olowalu and Polanui? Through this study, we’ll be analyzing the protein expression and DNA of 32 coral samples from these areas, to identify the stressors to coral.
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Sunscreen Pollution

Sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate can harm or kill corals. Our team works with snorkel cruise operators to provide safer alternatives. We educate the public and lawmakers about sunscreen pollution.
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Promote Clean Ocean Water

Best Management Practices for Builders and Developers

We provide builders and developers with proven Best Practices for preventing sediment runoff pollution at construction sites. We are currently fundraising for in-stream probes.
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Hui O Ka Wai Ola Water Quality Testing Program

Clean ocean water is essential for healthy coral reefs. It’s also important to visitors and residents who enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddling, fishing, and surfing.
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Oyster Restoration Pilot Project

Oysters are efficient filter feeders that can help clean ocean water in our harbors and bays. MNMRC is working with Waterkeeper Alliance on a pilot project to use oysters to improve water quality.
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Restore Native Fish

Community Managed Makai Areas (CMMA)

MNMRC supports and provides training for CMMA programs on Maui which use traditional management principles, community enforcement, and public engagement to sustainably manage marine areas.
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Education and Outreach

Join us for free presentations about coral reefs, ocean water quality, native fish and more at MNMRCʻs Monthly Meeting, held on Zoom the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 7 pm.
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Reef in Brief

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