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Rally for Stream Restoration Held Across Central Maui

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [1]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The group Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā joined community members, concerned citizens, and kuleana loʻi kalo farmers in conducting a rally at various streams across central Maui on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.

The rally was aimed at raising awareness for stream restoration at the four waterways that make up Nā Wai ʻEhā, or the four great waters, including Wailuku, Waiheʻe, Waiehu and Waikapū.

The group is fighting for mauka to makai (mountain to ocean) stream flow in an effort to ensure the health of the streams, traditional and customary rights, and water for the public trust.

Organizers said the effort was also aimed at holding Wailuku Water Company and Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company accountable in finishing the job of water restoration.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [2]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

The rally comes on the heels of a public event held last week to officially release water [3] in as outlined in an agreement on instream water flow standards.

“Although we’re grateful and excited to have water once again flowing in our stream, there is a ton of work that remains to be done, both here at ʻĪao and in the rest of the streams at Nā Wai ‘Ehā, especially Waikapū to ensure that we have continuous mauka to makai flow to support the whole range of beneficial instream uses necessary to really give life to our water code and state constitution,” said Kapua Sproat, an attorney for Earthjustice in an interview with Maui Now last week.

Some of the signs held included calls for accountability and connectivity, as well as enforcement and compliance of the state water code.  Supporters also urged continued monitoring of the stream flow in an effort to bring awareness to what the group called a “minimal” flow.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [4]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

HC&S general manager Rick Volner responded to a request for comment on the rally saying, “HC&S continues to work with the Commission on Water Resource Management to implement the Interim Instream Flow Standards established in the settlement.”

Wailuku Water Company president Avery Chumbley, deferred comment to commission staff saying flows at both streams are above the required IIFS release standards.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [5]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [6]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [7]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo. [8]

Stream connectivity and accountability rally. Maui Now photo.