Our mission at Hawaiian Paddle Sports involves more than just our business. Community, culture, and protecting what we love in this world is a big part of who we are. Each month we highlight a local charity, community group or non profit organization to help raise awareness for their cause. We are proud to sponsor Maui Nui Marine Resource Council.
Clean Water, Healthy Fish, Thriving Coral Reefs
Over 60% of coral reefs in United States waters are found within the Hawaiian Archipelago. Coral reefs form the backbone of Hawaii’s economy, culture, and recreation. They provide food for local families, protect coastlines from large waves and storms, and support a $12 billion annual tourism industry.
Despite their clear importance, Hawaii’s coral reefs are facing immediate and significant threats – from global climate change to overfishing. On Maui, it is estimated that 25% of the island’s reefs have been lost beyond repair, and 50% are currently declining. Locally, the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council actively works to reverse coral reef decline. As part of Hawaiian Paddle Sports’ monthly Malama Maui giveback program, employees from Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui Kayak Adventures, and Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding teamed up with Maui Nui Marine Resource Council to document coral reef health along West Maui and learn about ways to support healthy, thriving reefs.
Clean Water + Healthy Fish = Thriving Coral Reefs
Coral reefs require two essential elements: clean water and healthy fish populations.
Corals derive the majority of their food and energy from sunlight. When sediments from land wash into the ocean, they increase the water’s turbidity or cloudiness. The cloudier the water, the harder it is for sunlight to reach corals. Corals also expend more energy in an attempt to remove sediments. If heavy sediments persist for long periods of time, corals will not receive sufficient nutrients and will die.
Polluted runoff from land also negatively impacts coral reefs. Fertilizers from agricultural lands and human wastewater from cesspools or injection wells can lead to increases in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Increased nutrients result in algal blooms that can quickly over grow and smother the reef.
Reef fish also play a critical role in maintaining the overall health of Maui’s coral reefs. Herbivores (plant eaters) like surgeonfish, sea urchins, and parrotfish keep algae in check. Small cleaner wrasses keep other fish healthy by removing parasites and even dead skin. Larger predators like sharks and jacks maintain reef balance by removing weak or sick fish. This helps minimize the spread of disease and prevents certain species from over taking the reef.
Understanding Coral Reefs….? The Power of Observation??
Coral reefs require two essential elements: clean water and healthy fish populations. Corals
Clean water is important in allowing a sufficient amount of sunlight to reach coral reefs. Corals derive much of their energy and
PIC OF ROWDY TAKING NOTES
How You Can Help
- Volunteer – Maui Cultural Lands restores hundreds of acres of native habitat every year, and they can’t do it alone! Join weekly work days at Honokowai Valley (every Saturday morning), or contact Maui Cultural Lands for specific opportunities.
- Donate – Support Maui Cultural Lands with a monetary donation by mail, phone or online.
- Become a Corporate or Business Sponsor – Businesses can support Maui Cultural Lands in a variety of ways, including volunteer work days and monetary donations.
For more information about Maui Cultural Lands, visit their website. You can also contact Maui Cultural Lands by emailing [email protected] or giving them a call at (808) 276-5593. And don’t forget to following them on Facebook!