Volunteers Needed for Māʻalaea Ditch Cleanup

December 3, 2018, 12:10 PM HST · Updated December 3, 1:23 PM
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The nonprofit Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is seeking volunteers to help remove trash from the stormwater ditch along the Honoapiʻilani Highway in Māʻalaea on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Unless removed soon, the trash will likely end up in Māʻalaea Bay when winter rains arrive and stormwater flows through the ditch into the ocean, the council said. The ditch is located next to the highway and is known for collecting large amounts of man-made debris.

“The time you volunteer is truly a gift for the ocean, for the coral reefs and marine wildlife,” Maui Nui Marine Resource Council program director Amy Hodges said. “We need volunteers to help us now, to keep all of the accumulated trash out of the ocean.”

The council is asking for volunteers meet them at 9 a.m. at the parking lot with the EV charging stations between the Maui Ocean Center and Carlʻs Jr. Volunteers are also advised to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and to bring a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat. The council will provide gloves and trash bags.

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The clean-up is part of the councilʻs overall plan to help improve ocean water quality in Māʻalaea Bay, which serves as a sea turtle grazing area and is home to many coral reefs. The bay is also known for its surf break, public fishing areas, beaches, as well as its small boat harbor.

The council paid for a Stormwater Management Plan for the areas upslope of Māʻalaea Bay to identify ways to prevent stormwater runoff full of sediment and pollutants from flowing into the bay.

The council is also working on a pilot project that uses caged oysters to help improve the water quality in Māʻalaea Harbor. A free presentation about the oyster project will be presented at one of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s meetings on Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Whale Foundation’s classrooms. The meeting is open to the public for free and refreshments will be served.

Anyone interested in participating in the Māʻalaea ditch clean-up can email [email protected] with your name and cell phone number, so that the council can contact you in the event that the clean-up may be postponed due to rain.

More information on the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council can be found online.  

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