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.
A volunteer training was held on February 12 and 13 for 12 new volunteers to join the Clean Ocean Team and monitor water quality with Hui O Ka Wai Ola! Volunteers completed the 12-hour training using State Department of Health approved techniques and protocols for water quality monitoring under the QAPP. Of the new volunteers, most will help expand the monitoring effort in South Maui. Congratulations and mahalo to our new team members!
Photos: Bruce Forrester
Hui O Ka Wai Ola is a partnership of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council (MNMRC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), West Maui Ridge to Reef (R2R) Initiative and University of Hawaii Maui College in collaboration with the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
Hui O Ka Wai Ola is the first community-based water quality monitoring program in the State that periodically measures turbidity (a measure of water clarity) and nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorous) in near shore ocean waters and makes this data available to the public. "Our goal is to support the Department of Health and Maui County efforts to improve coastal water quality so that coral reefs and native fish populations thrive, and our residents and visitors are safe,” said Robin Newbold, Co-founder and Chair of MNMRC. “We want to help identify problem areas, so remedial action may be taken as needed.”
To fund the expansion to South Maui, MNMRC worked with TNC and R2R to obtain a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant. The grant provides matching funds to an award from Maui County OED. With this funding, the program was able to purchase water quality testing equipment and supplies and hired Sofia de la Sota as the new South Maui Regional Coordinator for Hui O Ka Wai Ola. North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund, Napili Bay and Beach Foundation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provide funding for the West Maui program.
Listen to a recent interview with Dana Reed about the expansion of Hui O Ka Wai Ola
on HPR's The Conversation.
On the morning of Tuesday, September 19th, Hui O Ka Wai Ola coordinators Dana Reed and Sofia de la Sota met in Kihei to set up the much anticipated South Maui water quality lab at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Armloads of boxes containing various equipment and supplies were hauled into the donated lab space. By the end of the day the coordinators had organized the space, water was distilling, batteries were charging, and meters and probes had been calibrated. With phase one of the lab now in place, training completed, and initial sites selected, the volunteers are ready to begin monitoring coastal water quality in South Maui!
The newest group of Hui O Ka Wai Ola water quality volunteers is ready to start monitoring in South Maui. This month, 23 new volunteers completed the 12 hour training in the State Department of Health approved technique and protocols for water quality monitoring. Of the new volunteers, 17 will launch the monitoring program in South Maui, and 6 will join the existing West Maui team. The expansion to South Maui follows the successful completion of the monitoring program's first year in West Maui, with over 476 samples collected to date. The South Maui group plans to begin collecting samples in September. Below are some of the things new volunteers had to say when asked if they liked the recent training:
Hui O Ka Wai Ola partners from the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, The Nature Conservancy, the Ridge to Reef Initiative, and University of Hawai'i participated in the 2017 Hawai'i Conservation Conference on O'ahu from July 18-20. The water quality program partners presented and provided support during a 2-hour forum on July 18th titled “Water Quality Monitoring 101 Training: Citizen Science + Quality Assurance = Actionable Data that Improves Hawaii’s Waters”. Participants were walked through the steps of creating a quality assured, volunteer-based, monitoring program for their community and given a live demonstration of sampling techniques and protocols. Other speakers include Stuart Coleman from Surfrider and Erica Perez from Coral Reef Alliance.