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Maui nonprofit receives grant to address coastal resilience

The Maui News

Nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council was among the 49 recipients nationwide to receive grant funding to support coastal resilience in the South Maui community.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the NOAA announced $39.5 million in new grants from the National Coastal Resilience Fund that will support environmental projects in 28 states.

The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council was awarded $210,000, with $225,000 to be provided by the organization in matching funds, for a total of $435,000 for its project “Conducting Site Assessments and Planning to Address Recurring Coastal Flooding” to address the impacts of Hapapa watershed on in Kihei’s coastal areas.

“Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is very grateful to be named as a recipient of this grant,” said Executive Director Mike Fogarty. “We have witnessed the flooding in Kihei for years and the subsequent sediment pollution on the adjacent coral reefs. We look forward to working with the community to create plans to help solve these issues, and benefit our wetlands, reefs, bird habitats and native plants, as well as the homes and infrastructure of our community.”

Through this project, MNMRC will work with the community and stakeholders to conduct site assessments and planning of proposed nature-based solutions, including Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance methods, to address this flooding.

The project will create a work plan for site design, with the goal of preventing property and infrastructure damage due to stormwater flooding and protecting wetland bird habitat, native plant species, nearshore coral reef ecosystems and marine wildlife, according to the news release.

Despite low average annual rainfall, which is about 10 inches, Kihei experiences recurring stormwater flooding, said Amy Hodges, Project and Operations Manager at MNMRC.

“It originates at higher elevations on leeward Haleakeala and discharges via gulches to Kihei’s coastline,” Hodges said. “Our project focuses on Hapapa watershed’s three gulches (Kulanihakoi, Waipuilani and Keokea) which are responsible for most of Kihei’s stormwater flooding.”

To learn more, visit www.mauireefs.org.

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