Maui News

Maui Ocean Center’s Marine Institute Saved Turtles & Helped Coral Reefs in 2021

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The Maui Ocean Center’s Marine Institute responded in 2021 to nearly 300 sea turtle strandings, providing medial attention when needed. Photo Courtesy: MOC Marine Institute

In 2021, the Maui Ocean Center’s Marine Institute helped deal with what the United Nations announced as a “triple planetary crisis:” climate change, pollution and nature loss threatening humankind and our planet.

The Marine Institute’s accomplishments for the year included:

  • Restoring 5 coral reef sites damaged by boat anchors
  • Collecting more than 40,000 pieces of marine debris
  • Recycling more than 20 miles of used fishing line
  • Launching the Keiki o ke Kai program to provide hands-on, interactive education for students on Maui

The Marine Institute’s team also has respond to nearly 300 stranded sea turtles on the island of Maui, providing them with necessary medical care and return them to the wild as quickly and safely as possible.


“Now more than ever, it has become apparent that the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants are intertwined and in a fragile state,” the Marine Institute Executive Director Tommy Cutt said in a letter to the public. “At times, the information regarding the status of our planet can be overwhelming, but there’s still time to heal it – and with your help we can, and we do.”

In the letter, anthropologist Margaret Mead was quoted as saying: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Cutt said the Marine Institute’s mission is to inspire lifelong environmental stewardship and ensure the survival of coral reefs and sea turtles in Hawai’i through science-based conservation efforts, education, and outreach.


To make a donation to the Marine Institute, click here.


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