Maui News

Donations to Preserve Natural Resources on Maui

April 2, 2019, 12:28 PM HST
* Updated April 3, 12:12 PM
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The Maui Ocean Center recently donated funds to the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, and Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project to help their efforts in restoring and preserving Mauiʻs natural resources.

The funds, collected from the Maui Ocean Centerʻs annual SEA-son of Giving event, are being used to monitor ocean water quality, support coral restoration, and rebuild forest habitats to prevent the extinction of endangered birds.

Maui Ocean Center donates funds in support of Maui marine life and sustainability. Courtesy photo.

“We chose these non-profits because they are truly dedicated to cultivating a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable environment in Maui,” MOC general manager Tapani Vuori said. “The restoration and preservation of our natural resources requires teamwork and collaboration, and it is great to come together for the purpose of creating a brighter future for our island and state.”

The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council will be using the money to purchase a high-tech battery pack to enhance their recently acquired Manta+30A electronic water testing probe. The battery pack will allow them to leave the probe in place for long periods of time, which will expand the data set that helps the team pinpoint sources of pollutants.

“Clean ocean water is essential to everyone and everything, supporting our recreational activities, tourism and the survival of our reefs,” the councilʻs development manager Anne Rillero said. “This gift helps us harness the power of technology and work toward a future of clean water that all can enjoy.”


The donation will help the MOC Marine Institute, which runs one of only four land-based coral nurseries in the country, add new tanks to their coral lab. Their lab includes a repository for rare and endemic Hawaiian corals.


“Coral reefs are some of the most biologically diverse and economically valuable ecosystems of earth,” the instituteʻs executive director Thomas Cutt said. “We are grateful for the support that will help us protect Maui’s coral reefs and ensure the survival for Hawai’i’s endemic corals for our future generations.”

The Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project will use their monies to purchase native trees to help restore high elevation forests, which are necessary for the survival of endangered species. The trees, a variety of more than thirteen species native to the area, will help the restoration of the Nakula NAR on the Leeward slope of Haleakalā.

“We continue to be in the midst of an extinction crisis with many critically endangered species on Maui, but we have a chance to reverse it,” Dr. Hanna Mounce, coordinator of the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, said.  “Maui Ocean Center’s generous contribution helps us in our ongoing mission of purchasing trees and rebuilding forests so we may protect the indigenous species and natural preserves so important to our island community.”

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