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Presentation will explore artificial reefs

Procedures could be used to reduce erosion

MICHAEL FOLEY, Shoreline erosion expert

The public is invited to a free presentation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday that will explore artificial reefs and other offshore wave dissipation techniques that could be used to reduce coastal erosion on Maui.

The presentation is part of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s monthly meeting series and will take place at Pacific Whale Foundation’s classrooms at the Maui Harbor Shops at 300 Maalaea Road in Maalaea. Doors open at 5; refreshments will be served.

The presenter will be Michael Foley, a professional engineer and leader of the Resilient Sustainable Engineering (RiSE) team at Oceanit, a company with headquarters in Honolulu that employs more than 160 scientists and engineers.

Considered one of the state’s leading experts on shoreline erosion, Foley has designed artificial reef systems to provide coastal protection and promote coral reef habitats. He has also been a key contributor to understanding issues and identifying solutions for beach erosion and sand depletion.

Foley grew up on Maui. He is an avid surfer, serves on the board of directors of the Hawaii Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, specializing in the application of submerged breakwaters (artificial reefs) that provide coastal and harbor protection while simultaneously providing ecological and recreational value as coral reef habitat and surf breaks.

“Many of us on Maui are wondering what can be done about shoreline erosion and the loss of beaches and coastal areas,” said Amy Hodges, programs manager at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “Dr. Foley’s talk will explore some innovative options that could be considered to help reduce shoreline loss.”

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a nonprofit organization celebrating 11 years of working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and abundant native fish. To learn more, visit www.mauireefs.org.