Are You willing to direct a volunteer team to test marine water quality in So Maui once a month?*
8/11/16 We are not marine biologists nor environmental scientists, but we have listened to them over the years as we have sadly observed this devastation to the system, & in some places, poor water quality occurrence. Our conclusion is there are a number of causes, big and small. A big one is silt, which when it is dumped onto coral remains there in spite of waves and currents, and chokes the coral. The silt pours into the kai when it rains, often in parts of Kula, via the gulches, because there are no longer near shore wetlands to filter out the silt, while allowing the naturally filter water to flow into the ocean. All sorts of chemicals from a variety of sources flow in to challenge reef health and water quality: street run off, cesspool seepage, damaging types of sunscreen (avoid any containing oxybenzone), overfishing, illegal dumping and the most controversial one, waste water injection wells.
The Clean Water Branch of the State Department of Health (DOW-CWB) has the responsibility for testing the near shore waters. SEE http://beachapedia.org/State_of_the_Beach/State_Reports/HI/Water_Quality
A recent study by Neil Rhoads and Mailea Miller-Pierce. SEE (www.ecooak.org) revealed that while much attention has been directed to water quality of the West Side of Maui, the central Kihei area from Kalama to Kamaole Beach Park I was extremely worse by many standards of measurement. While some point to the nearby Kihei Injection well flow near Kalama Park as the major cause, other claim this is just coincidence.
Our conclusion is the marine water quality in the area is certainly extremely poor, regardless of the cause, and find it dreadful that this is a hub of ocean activity for a continuous flow of visitors, who are completely uninformed. We find it unconscionable that our government is aware and takes no action to warn these visitors to potential exposure. How many return home with infections, unaware of the source? Is this pono? Those unconcerned with the environment, or the health of our visitors and our residents, we ask what effect will this have on our visitor industry economy? Once word gets out, and it will, not only won’t those affected return some may file suit against our government (that is us).
Our Planning Committee, under direction of Chair Harry Hecht, devoted this morning’s entire meeting to this general topic. The meeting included Director Stuart Stant and his Deputy Mike Miyamoto of County Environmental Management, as well as independent environmental Scientists Neil Rhoads and old KCA friend Robin Knox
Do you care about this? We certainly do. We are guided by, “e malama pono,” dedicated to protecting our ‘aina, kai and ‘ohana. Presently, we are formulating a public general membership meeting on this topic before the end of the year.
* if you, or someone you know IS interested let us know please. A group is presently doing this on the West Side, and a corresponding one on the South West shore would be extremely beneficial.