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Article confirms impact of sediments on reefs

The recent report of reef loss across Maui (The Maui News, April 7) confirmed something I experienced firsthand and is a tragedy of epic proportions.

In 1990 as a young college student, I had the fortune to spend a month camping at what was then called Camp Pecusa, but now Camp Olowalu, as part of a class on the natural history of Hawaii at the Evergreen State College. Then the reef off Olowalu was a spectacle of life filled with live corals, plentiful fish and a diversity of marine invertebrates. But during a recent visit with my 16-year-old and a buddy from the class and his daughter, we were saddened to see much of the reef dead and covered in sediments.

The survey discussed in the article confirms the impact of sediments on reefs in West Maui, including at Olowalu. Federal and state dollars are needed now to identify and contain sources of sediments and other pollutants killing Maui’s reefs, which without doubt are a natural treasure and deserve care from all of us.

Noah Greenwald

Endangered Species Director, Center for Biological Diversity

Portland, Ore.