Maui News

Presentation on “Maui’s Coastal Water Quality: A Six Year Assessment ” Feb. 1, 2023

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Hui O Ka Wai Ola volunteers and staff (left to right: Ylenia St. Louis, Kristina McHugh, Dan Crevier and Liz Yannell) go beyond their regular ocean water testing duties in support of NOAA’s current-use pesticide study. Their data will help the science team understand ocean conditions where the pesticide sampling bands are deployed. Photo Credit: Tova Callender Location: North Kīhei

Hui O Ka Wai Ola has been keeping track of changes in water quality on Maui since 2016.

Their data supports the efforts of the Department of Health to maintain a long-term record of nearshore water quality to inform efforts by state agencies and local nonprofit groups, like the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, to reduce pollution impacts around the island.

The program, which follows strict quality control standards, measures physical qualities like water clarity, salinity, and temperature, as well as nutrient levels (which harm coral reefs if out of balance).


A new collaborative project with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is addressing a long-standing to-do from the Hawaiʻi Coral Reef Initiative – evaluating pesticide contamination in the waters along the coast.

Liz Yannell, the Hui’s Senior Team Leader.

A free Zoom webinar will focus on findings of the Hui water quality monitoring program, how the past year’s massive storms and brown water events affected water quality, and a new pesticide sampling project. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m., presented by Liz Yannell, the Hui’s Senior Team Leader.

The presentation is part of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s monthly Know Your Ocean Speaker Series, supported by the County of Maui. Admission is free, but advance reservations are required.


To reserve a spot, visit

In this month’s MNMRC Know Your Ocean Speaker Series talk, Liz Yannell, the Hui’s Senior Team Lead, speaks about water quality observations taken over the last year and looks at long-term trends from the past six years. The talk will also focus on the ongoing collaborative project with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to evaluate pesticide contamination in waters along our coast.

The Hui O Ka Wai Ola is a volunteer-based water quality monitoring organization that is a partnership between MNMRC, The Nature Conservancy and the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. The Hui’s members include volunteers from diverse backgrounds like scientists and community organizations. The Hawaiʻi Department of Health is mandated to monitor coastal water quality around the islands and encourages partnerships with groups such as the Hui to improve data about pollutants threatening coral reefs and human health.


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