New Remote Technology Explored to Address Water Quality Issues on Maui

March 9, 2016, 7:51 AM HST · Updated March 9, 7:51 AM
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A workshop sharing advanced water quality monitoring technology was held recently at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Kīhei.  The workshop, led by Mark Deakos of the Hawaiʻi Association for Marine Education and Research and the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, explored multi-probe technology and its use in facilitating water quality monitoring.

According to the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, the multi-probe is capable of providing continuous, real-time water quality data, a “major advancement” compared to traditional grab-sample techniques currently being used on Maui.

Combined with a remote telemetry system, continuous real-time data streams can be sent directly to an internet portal helping to better understand and prevent impaired storm-water discharge. Immediately when the sensor detects impaired water, the system can alert the land owners, developers and resource managers so they can initiate an immediate response to correct the problem and prevent further damage to our marine resources.

“With more impaired waters on Maui than any other island in the State, and in response to an increasing frequency of brown water events over the past few seasons, there is an imminent need to improve monitoring efforts,” representatives with the MNMRC said.

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“The multi-probe is a simple and reliable tool for use in the field. It can help identify problematic areas in a watershed, making it useful to both land managers and the government agencies responsible for creating and enforcing environment protection policies,” according to the MNMRC.

Organization representatives said, “Passive, multi-probe monitoring as a way to eliminate dirty, end of the pipe storm-water discharge is a promising idea.”

Among those in attendance were community water quality monitoring volunteers, watershed managers, and government representatives.  The workshop was also attended by representatives from community groups, environmental organizations, Maui County, University of Hawaiʻi and the State Department of Health.

The Hawaiian Association for Marine Education and Research is a non-profit organization conducting research to better understand the health and status of our marine resources and preserve them. Findings are communicated to members of the community, empowering them with the knowledge to create effective policies, raise awareness, and ultimately change behavior to ensure our current and future generations prosper from the economic and social benefits provided by healthy and abundant marine resources.

The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a community group formed in 2007 to bring human actions into balance with ecological principles through education, collaboration and advocacy so that the islands’ near shore waters will be restored to health with abundant life and sustained for future generations.

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