KIHEI - A University of Hawaii-Hilo student will be working to restore the Laie wetlands as a summer intern with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Education Partnership Program.
Molly Borsom will spend the summer working on the Laie wetlands habitat restoration project as a member of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary staff. She is a senior majoring in marine science and will be pursuing a graduate degree in marine conservation.
The Laie wetlands project is a County of Maui partnership effort under the Community Work Day Program and funded in part by a grant from the Hawai'i Tourism Authority. The primary goal of the project is to restore and shift the habitat from non-native to native species, increase desirable nesting habitat for Maui's native and endangered water birds and migratory shorebirds, improve water flows and retention capacity in the wetland, increase educational and recreation opportunities, and guide future management and use of the area.
The project is a collaborative effort led by CWD in partnership with the County of Maui, state and federal agencies including the whale sanctuary, and community organizations.
Borsom will be working with CWD to develop monitoring protocols and training that will provide volunteers and the visitors industry with educational opportunities during the restoration work. For example, she will be implementing the sanctuary's water quality monitoring program and training volunteers to continue the testing on a weekly basis.