5/18/2024 #kihei #reef #cleanup

The Maui News

KAHULUI–What better way to kick off the summer than to get in the water and do a good deed? The Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute (MOCMI) is excited to host a reef clean-up at Kama’ole Beach I on Saturday, June 1st, from 9 am to 11 am.

Volunteers will meet at the grassy area next to the Royal Mauian Condos and across from Hawaiian Moons for check-in. Participants are expected to bring their own snorkel gear, mesh bag (or other receptacle) to collect marine debris, gloves and any other tools they would like to utilize. The MOCMI team will provide a water cooler for refills and light snacks. All debris that is collected will be sorted on-site and disposed of properly. The citizen science data gathered from the clean-up will contribute to the MOCMI annual marine debris count.

Coral reefs are considered the “rainforests” of the sea due to their diversity and ecological value. They provide food and habitats for over 7,000 species of marine plants and animals, as well as protect shorelines from erosion. Marine debris, such as fishing gear and plastics, are detrimental to the health of the reefs and their inhabitants. In fact, greater than 80% of the Marine Institute’s sea turtle rescues are the result of fishing line entanglements. One of the best ways to mitigate these incidents is to mālama i ke kai (take care of the sea) through community action.

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit bit.ly/Reefcleanup to RSVP. For more information contact the reef clean-up coordinator, Ylenia at Ylenia@mocmarineinstitute.org. Attendees are advised to carpool, if possible, as there is limited parking space available (plus it’s better for the planet!).

Fishing gear collected from a prior MOCMI reef clean-up. Photos courtesy MOC Marine Institute

For those who are passionate about caring for Maui beaches, but are unable to attend, consider signing up for the MOCMI Honu Hero Program, a self-directed beach clean-up.

The MOC Marine Institute is a small non-profit based out of Ma’alaea that works to ensure the survival of coral reefs and sea turtles in Hawai’i through science-based conservation efforts, education and outreach. All MOC Marine Institute sea turtle stranding response, rescue, rehabilitation and research activities are authorized by NOAA permit 21260 and USFWS permit TE-72088A-3.

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