New! 2023 Reef Friendly Landscaping Pilot Report

Learn about how the RFL program’s test plots collaboration with Environmental Solutions Maui helped improve plant health by improving soil health. Download your copy here.

Reef Friendly - Mauka to Makai

Maui’s reefs are vital for the island, but non-organic land management practices can have negative impacts on these environments. Research shows that synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers quickly make their way from land to ocean. These chemicals can accumulate in fish and inhibit reproduction in both fish and corals, as well as cause growth defects in one of Maui’s most charismatic creatures, sea turtles.

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council has been researching these chemicals’ effects on coral reef ecosystems and human health. We are working with resorts in south Maui to make the switch to organic alternatives, and we encourage homeowners and our community to join us. Going organic helps create healthy, thriving, and biodiverse soil communities which make for happy plants and lawns, leading to low-maintenance care and cost savings in the future.

We’re here to provide Reef Friendly Landscaping Certifications by working with you to use ocean-safe landscaping through free, confidential, private consultations with our experts.

The Issue

It is important to address and prevent land-based sources of pollution on coral reefs, as corals are already under stress from increasing ocean temperatures and ocean acidification due to climate change. Pesticides and fungicides such as Malathion, Permethrin, Profenofos, Chlorpyrifos, and Imidacloprid can cause endocrine disruption, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, kidney/liver damage, birth/developmental effects, a reduction in coral settlement and metamorphosis, coral bleaching, compromises in behavior, feminization of organisms, oxidative stress, an increase in risk of disease in fish, paralysis of the central nervous system of organisms, and can make fish more vulnerable to predation.

Download our “Top 10 Reasons NOT to Use Pesticides”

The Solution

Our Reef-Friendly Certification Program can help your property become an eco-tourism destination that is doing its part to protect Maui’s coral reefs and marine life. The process starts with a site visit with an organic land care consultant to understand the aesthetics of your property and any problem areas. We also go over a list of your products that you currently use and will offer recommendations and alternatives on which products to stop using immediately and how to properly dispose of them. The site visit and consultation are FREE to you and your property.

By working with us through the certification process, you receive:
– A detailed letter which outlines your personalized recommendations for your property
– A list of your products to stop using immediately and a list of products that are acceptable to continue using
– A list of alternative products, equipments, and resources to aid in the transition to reef friendly landscaping
– Complimentary consulting throughout the transition process with Duane Sparkman and Environmental Solutions Maui  

We work with Edaphic Consulting, Environmental Solutions Maui, Beyond Pesticides, West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative, and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. We have launched two pilot programs that utilize a biological soil amendment, SoilThrive™, to restore soil health and microbiology, which in turn supports healthy plants and fights pests and disease. Results have shown thicker topsoil, deeper roots, and increased soil microbes. 

Learn More in Our Latest Press Release Download Our Visitors Industry Pilot Program Flyer

Benefits of getting certified:

  • Cost savings
  • Positive guest perception
  • Media recognition and certificate of completion
  • Your property mentioned on our Maui Reefs social media sites
  • Use of Reef-Friendly logo on your website and promotional materials
  • Free Reef-Friendly window stickers for display at your site
  • Your logo featured on our Reef-Friendly Landscaping website
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference for Maui’s coral reefs – which help to protect our beaches and shorelines

Ready to make the switch to reef-friendly practices? Contact us today to learn more.

SoilThrive™ by Environmental Solutions Maui. A biological soil amendment made from microbe-rich, organic, vegan compost. Read out pilot project report. Download here: 2023 RFL Pilot Report.


Ukiu Farms: 

Beyond Pesticides list of products compatible with organic landscaping: 

Organic Landscaping Association:,based%20on%20a%20system’s%20approach

Reef in Brief

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