Maui News

Hotel Engineer to Discuss Ways to Combat Ocean Pollution

December 23, 2019, 1:00 PM HST
* Updated December 28, 1:15 PM
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Sparkman. Photo courtesy: Maui Nui Marine Resource Council.

Using tested alternatives to herbicides and pesticides for landscaping is one way to prevent harmful ocean pollution, scientists say.

Duane Sparkman, an engineer and landscaping manager at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, will be offering a  free  talk to explain how  community members can  use non-harmful pest and weed control methods for their homes, businesses, and landscaping.

Sparkman has implemented measures to reduce The Westin’s use of herbicides and pesticides, showcasing alternatives that are safer and more environmentally friendly.

“We are offering this presentation as part of launching the New Year, hoping that more people will resolve to find ways to protect our coral reefs and marine environment by reducing or avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides in their homes, yards and at their places of employment, including golf courses and resorts,” Maui Nui Marine Resource Council chair Robin Newbold said in a press release.

Newbold says most people do not realize how readily chemicals from pesticides and herbicides find their way into the ocean, causing harm to fish, birds and corals.

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According to the NOAA Ocean Service Education website, pesticides are designed to be toxic to a target organism, but often kill other organisms. The website notes that many of the compounds used today are toxic at very low concentrations.

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“We owe it to our coral reefs and ocean water to find better ways to manage pests and weeds without adding harmful chemicals to our land- and marine-ecosystems,” Newbold added.

The discussion is part of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s “Know Your Ocean Speaker Series,” and will  be held on Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at The Sphere at Maui Ocean Center.

Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged due to limited seating at The Sphere.

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To make a free reservation, click here.

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