UPDATE 6/13/19 Several KCA directors, volunteers and general members were part of a large community turnout for the presentation by a panel dominated by reps from The Nature Conservancy . They presented their findings of water quality all along the South Maui shoreline. We felt their findings agreed with all previous evaluations, that the center of South Maui, Cove Park, was the pinnacle of impaired water, and then improved as test sites moved both north & south. However all locations continue to exceed DOH CWB standards. Unfortunately we carry on taking merely minimal actions to mitigate these conditions, and ongoing statements that we can’t prove the cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/9/19 #kihei #southmaui

Will there be any changes made or solutions presented for a problem which has been discussed for several years?

The public is welcome and admission is free for the 6 PM event being held at the  Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 South Kihei Road on June 12th. The event is hosted by the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. The talk will include data collected from water at twenty different South Maui sites.

The report is the work of The Hui O Ka Wai Ola program which is managed by Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, The Nature Conservancy and the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative, all of whom are working in cooperation with the State of Hawai‘i’ Department of Health, Clean Water Branch.

For more information, contact the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council at 808-707-5056 or email info@mauireefs.org.

Will there be any changes made or solutions presented for a problem which has been discussed for several years?

The Kihei Community Association has had the water quality of our kai (ocean) as a top concern for over a decade.

The State Department of Health, Clean Water Branch takes water samples at various locations and tests them. The state says that they have water quality records going back over a century. In addition to the state government, volunteer groups have also participated in testing water quality. For example, the Kihei Community Association, with the support of its members, and the public at large, commissioned an independent scientific study on marine water quality in 2017. That report, as well as several others on record, state the same bad news: the nearshore water quality of South Maui is severely polluted and bacteria-ridden. Some reports identify the ocean water quality of the Kihei coast as the worst on Maui, OR EVEN IN THE ENTIRE STATE!

This should not be surprising. Who hasn’t noticed the periodic shutdowns or warnings of “brown water advisory” beaches within South Maui? Generally, the “hot spot” is around Cove Park, which, ironically, seems to be the prime location surfing schools choose to hold their surfing classes, either unaware of the poor water quality or choosing to ignore it. It was almost ten years ago when USGS reported wastewater plumes by Cove & Kalama park.  That situation has not changed

This environmental problem has been built up over the years, due to a number of conditions, many of which could have been possibly prevented by better urban planning. For example, Maui Meadows community is un-sewered, meaning that the entire area’s wastewater is managed by cesspools. Additionally, water run-off from streets and the urban environment bring chemicals directly into the ocean, river gulches carry agricultural chemicals into the sea, thousands of bodies smeared with toxic sunscreen contaminants pollute the beach water, and so much more.

The poor water quality of South Maui was furthered by the decades-long string of government approved construction projects in the area. The natural protections of Maui’s original estuaries and wetlands were eliminated when they were paved over for more buildings.

The Kihei Community Association awaits the results of this Hui O Ka Wai Ola report presented on June 12th. Based on past studies, it is unlikely to be any better news than what is already known.  However, this report may help to create more support and action for a change to the dire water conditions of South Maui.