As of August 2020, Hui O Ka Wai Ola has gone from monitoring 41 to 33 sites! After looking closely at the data our volunteers have gathered since June 2016, the Technical Committee recommended eight sites to “pause” and one site to discontinue for one or more of the following reasons: we have a good understanding of their water quality dynamics, these sites have little to no pollution or fluctuation, no management is currently underway for contributing land based pollution, and/or no permanent funding is available to continue monitoring these sites. The Committee also added one site, Kahekili Two, which is north of the previously monitored Kahekili Beach Park site and is closer to the influence of the Lahaina Wastewater Treatment facility.
Sites currently paused are:
With fewer sites to monitor, we have moved from 4 survey teams in West Maui and 4 teams in South Maui to 3 teams on each side. The teams are currently monitoring the following sites every three weeks year-round
Part of this shift to monitor fewer sites allows the Hui to expand our efforts into some other water quality research, such as source detection, including limu nitrogen isotope testing, and working with partners to delve deeper into some of the pollution “hot spots” our data has helped identify. More on this to come!
With our ongoing water quality monitoring, we are careful that we measure this parameter at each site at approximately the same time of day every time we sample so that seasonal temperature variations can be distinguished from diurnal variations.
Finally, dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH levels also vary across the course of a day. Dissolved oxygen is needed for aquatic plants and animals to survive. Corals are very sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry, including increased ocean water acidity (which results in a drop in pH levels).
During our 12 hour study, we found that in Cove Park and Hanaka‘ō‘ō Park these diurnal variations are not as obvious because of the influx of fresh ground water as the tide is going out which also affects levels of pH and DO. In general, pH and DO are at their lowest levels just as the sun rises due to the fact that photosynthesis has not been taking place overnight. CO2 levels rise at night as marine organisms respire, taking in oxygen and producing CO2. There is no photosynthesis at night so as CO2 levels rise, the water becomes more acidic and pH levels drop. Dissolved oxygen also drops because of a lack of photosynthesis that generates oxygen as a bi-product. Once the sun begins to rise, photosynthesis begins again, and the pH and DO levels rise.
You can listen to Tova Callender, Alana Yurkanin, and James Strickland of Hui O Ka Wai Ola share about South Maui water quality findings on KAOI's July 2 radio show on station 96.7. Mahalo Don Couch and Jack Gist for a great conversation! Listen here.
Hui O Ka Wai Ola is the Recipient of Funds Raised at September Meeting of “100+ Women Who Care – Maui”
Hui O Ka Wai Ola was awarded $12,500 in funds raised at the September 2018 meeting of “100+ Women Who Care – Maui,” a group that holds quarterly meetings to raise funds for local nonprofits, charities and causes.
According to the 100+ Women Who Care – Maui website, the group’s members meet four times each year, with each meeting lasting one hour. Each member (and their guest) brings a check for $100 or more. Any member can nominate local charities, non-profits, or worthy causes, whose names are put into a hat. Three names are drawn at random. The group then votes by secret ballot to choose one of the organizations or causes to support, with a collective donation that typically amounts to $10,000 or more.
Michelle Griffoul, a member of 100+ Women Who Care – Maui and a board member of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, nominated the organization’s Hui O Ka Wai Ola (Association of Living Waters) ocean water quality testing program. She spoke from the heart about her firsthand experience as a volunteer with this innovative monitoring program, which works with dozens of local volunteers to regularly test ocean water quality at 39 locations along the south and west coastlines of Maui.
The members voted by secret ballot and selected Maui Nui Marine Resource Council as the recipient of the funds raised at the meeting.
“We’re grateful to all of the community-minded women in this group who chose to support our Hui O Ka Wai Ola water quality testing program,” says Robin Newbold, MNMRC co-founder and chair. “Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is proud to be a co-manager of this unique program and we are grateful for all in our community who make it possible. Clean ocean water is essential for healthy coral reefs. It’s also important to visitors and residents who enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddling, fishing and surfing along Maui’s coasts,” said Newbold. “Our ocean water quality testing program and the data it generates is critical in our work for clean ocean water for Maui.”
To learn more about 100 Women Who Care – Maui, please visit https://100womenwhocaremaui.org
A recording is available from the June 20th Reef Resilience Webinar hosting the good work of Hui O Ka Wai Ola! Check it out at: http://www.reefresilience.org/upcoming-citizen-science-to-improve-hawaii-water-quality/
The Hawai'i Department of Health (DOH) has monitored 18 Tier 1 sites weekly for basic water quality parameters and bacteria since the end of 2017. Some of these sites have also been monitored by Hui O Ka Wai Ola, who collected additional nutrient data (nitrogen and phosphorus compounds) along with turbidity and other basic physical parameters. DOH is now collecting all of the parameters that Hui O Ka Wai Ola collects and more (Enterococcus, Clostridium and Chlorophyll A) at these 18 DOH Tier 1 sites!
The Hui can now look to adopt additional sites elsewhere, or utilize this excess effort to expand our program in other ways. You can see updates to our monitoring locations on our Data Page. The Hui will continue to monitor two Tier 1 sites to use as Quality Assurance for our nutrient data, but this will only be for a short time until we determine that our results are in line with DOH results:
Kudos to the DOH for almost doubling the number of Tier 1 sites on Maui from 10 to 18 in the last year. The addition of nutrient parameters to the Tier 1 sites is incredibly beneficial for all the environmental work being done on the island of Maui by watershed partnerships. This incredible effort and dedication to gathering comprehensive and quality assured data for Maui's beach goers and marine life by the DOH is greatly appreciated! To view DOH's data, please visit: cwb.doh.hawaii.gov/CleanWaterBranch/WaterQualityData/default.aspx.