The Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter gratefully received a $5,000 grant in 2010 from the Forrest C. and Frances Lattner Foundation, which the Maui Chapter used to strengthen the community it serves, including ongoing restoration of the native ecosystem at Ho’okipa, Maui’s beloved north shore surfing and windsurfing beach park. For this work the chapter was honored with the 2007 Gold Leaf Award for Outstanding Landscape Beautification Activities from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in July, 2007. And, the Chapter was nominated to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Award.
New funds are continually sought from a variety of sources to ensure the completion of the community and student planting projects. Surfrider Maui received donations from Naish Maui Pro Center, Volcom Stone, Paul and Cindy Campbell; William and Cindy Simon; Maui Film Festival; Pinata’s Mexican Restaurant and Letarte Swimwear, Paia.
The beauty of the native planting projects at Ho’okipa is that they bring students to the park to engage in planting native species, which attract native insects and birds. The planting projects are a multi-sector collaborative among Hawaiian elders, park users, business, government, faculty and student groups that teaches youth botanical history, issues adversely impacting the coastal ecosystem, and it models protective actions protect the students will need once the torch is passed on to them.
In 2009, Surfrider’s Maui Chapter continued its work to safeguard the quality of Maui’s ocean environment by:
a) working with policy makers to maintain beach access
b) educating students about issues that degrade near-shore waters
c) negotiating with developers to include stakeholders in planning processes
d) engaging in native plant restoration projects
e) conducting reef and beach clean up events
Maui Chapter continues to ensure the US army Corps of Engineers’ planned development will not destroy 4.5 acres of living coral reef off Ma’alaea Harbor, a plan which would adversely impact threatened turtles and whale habitats, derail the Freight Train – the planet’s fastest right- hand barrel. While the USACE gave verbal assurances that it will include stakeholders, including the Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter, in the planning processes, Maui Chapter is vigilant to hold them to their word to protect the irreplaceable natural resource. And Surfrider maintains a Ma’alaea Legal Defense Fund.
Below are additional highlights of the Chapter’s activities during the year, and a request for continued and increased support.
COMMUNITY ACTIVISM and POLICY SETTING
Honolua Bay – The Chapter attended meetings convened by a local developer and citizen action groups to improve the master plan to protect Honolua Bay, a cultural and environmentally sensitive bay world-renowned for its fabulous surf. The developer proposed a golf course, luxury homes, surf park and Hawaiian cultural and canoe center. Surfrider Maui was the first to oppose the golf course as environmentally unsound. After a public outcry, the developer withdrew its golf course plan, and after many stakeholder meetings, the developer has scrapped its plans and will donate 33,000 acres surrounding Honolua Bay for conservation into perpetuity. A huge victory.
Makena and Ahihi-Kinau Preserve in South Maui - Chapter Executive Committee Member Hannah Bernard led trainings and meetings to establish conservation rules to protect these fragile ecosystems from overuse by tourists. The area was closed at night and conservation officials are working to give the entire area a vacation from the public to allow the area to restore itself.
Hawaii Superferry – Despite the greatest public outcry in Maui’s history, the Hawaii Superferry united Oahu and Maui and is operating without benefit of an environmental impact statement. The victory is that the EIS will have to be done after the fact, and Maui Chapter continues to testify that the Suferferry may prove a super conduit of invasive species that spell disaster for Maui’s ecosystems. Maui Chapter is concerned that economic interests have prevailed over the need to protect Maui’s fragile watershed from Miconia and other invasive species. Maui Chapter supports the legal battle in Hawaii’s Supreme Court and applauds Sierra Club and Maui Tomorrow for their concerted efforts. To learn more about this and the Maui Chapter’s letter of response, click here to download a copy.
TRAINING & VOLUNTEER DEVELOPMENT
Surfrider enjoyed many partnerships with schools and students over the past twelve months. The chapter’s Blue Water Task Force labs are well placed in two community labs open to the public and students, including the Pacific Whale Foundation at Ma’alaea and NOAA’s Whale Sanctuary in Kihei. The partners fund the test kits and testing is free to the public.
Park Service Events – The Chapter’s Park Service Events continue to offer a full menu of projects for participants to choose from, and suit all age groups. These expanded projects include Storm Drain Stenciling for middle school students, native plantings for small children through adults, and recycling of glass, aluminum and plastics for teens and adults.
Among Maui Chapter’s most important partners is the County of Maui and the Forrest C. and Frances Lattner Foundation, without which the Chapter’s projects would have held much less significance. Other community partners and funding sources include the Community Work Day, Hana Hwy Surf Shop, Haiku School, Seabury Hall, Maui Community College, Kihei Charter School, HGA, Rip Curl Europe, Da Kine Hawaii, Volcom, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife; Pacific Whale Foundation, NOAA, County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation, State Highways Maintenance Division, and a growing array of businesses, including Ho’olawa Farms, Chris Curtis Landscapes, Branch Out Tree Service, Goodfellow Brothers, Asplundh Tree Service, Alohalani Tree Care, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Sobe beverage, and a growing number of individual donors and volunteers.
Maui Chapter applied for and received a $10,000 Coastal Zone Management grant from the County of Maui Department of Planning. The funds were used exclusively at Ho’okipa Beach Park to continue the native botanical restoration of the beach park. Maui Chapter also leveraged State Tourism Authority Funds through the County of Maui Office of Economic Development to continue the native plantings to the Makai side of the overlook parking lot.
The Maui Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation extends a Grand Mahalo to all the volunteers, donors, grant makers, and the public for ongoing support of its marine science education programs, community partnerships, and the restoration of Ho’okipa Beach Park to its native botanical state.