Ocean water quality test results will be shared

A free presentation about ocean water quality along the coast of South Maui will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kihei.

The talk will feature data collected at 20 South Maui sites by the community-based ocean water quality monitoring program Hui O Ka Wai Ola (Association of Living Waters). Admission is free and open to the public. The sanctuary is at 726 S. Kihei Road.

“Sharing what we have observed in our first full year of data gathering in South Maui is a big milestone for our unique community-based program,” said James Strickland III, project manager. “We’ve learned some surprising things about our coastal water quality in South Maui, which we are looking forward to sharing with everyone at our presentation.”

The event will also include information about why clean ocean water is so important to the future of Maui’s coral reefs.

The Hui O Ka Wai Ola program is co-managed by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, The Nature Conservancy and West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative, working in cooperation with the state Department of Health Clean Water Division. More than 40 Maui residents volunteer with Hui O Ka Wai Ola, covering 39 locations along Maui’s leeward shoreline.

“We’ll be discussing all that we’ve found, the implications for the reef and marine wildlife, and the clues the data provides about the sources of any pollutants,” said Robin Newbold, chair and co-founder of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “Ultimately, our goal is to use our data to bring about clean ocean water for Maui’s coastal areas for all to enjoy.”

To learn more, visit www.huiokawaiola.com or at www.mauireefs.org.