New Course Teaches Reef-Friendly Shoreline Innovations

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2015


Marissa Stein
Communications Manager

MAUI, HAWAI’I–The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is partnering with the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui to bring a new course to the University of Hawai‘i Maui College’s spring schedule. The 5-week class, Reef-Friendly Shoreline Innovations, is designed to teach watershed stewardship and landscape design principles to shoreline property owners in an effort to reduce threats to Maui’s coral reefs.

According to an economic valuation study conducted in 2002, Hawaiian coral reefs contribute an average of $364 million annually to the Hawaiian economy. But coral reefs around the Main Hawaiian Islands are being threatened by poor water quality, much of which is caused by rainwater running off of the land and entering the marine environment, bringing with it pesticides, herbicides, nutrients, and sediment—all of which are harmful to reefs.

“In this course we’ll talk a lot about Low Impact Design, which focuses on using plants and landscape designs to catch stormwater and prevent it from entering our oceans,” says Wes Crile, Hawai‘i field manager for CORAL and one of the course instructors. “The concepts are incredibly easy to implement, and can really help Maui’s reefs recover from a lot of the stress they’ve been under.”

The new Reef-Friendly Shoreline Innovations course will cater to shoreline property owners, managers, landscapers, and residents interested in reef-friendly landscaping. The course will cover the fundamentals of Low Impact Design (LID), irrigation management, plant selection, visitor and community engagement, and more. Field trips to visit reef-friendly landscapes at various hotels are included.

The class will take place on Thursday afternoons from 2:00-4:30pm, from April 23 to May 21, 2015. The course is $219, or $110 with an ETF discount. Tuition assistance may be available to eligible participants. CEUs will be available for those who need them. To learn more or register for this course, visit, or contact Melanie Stephens at

This class is part of a larger CORAL project to partner with hotels and communities along the West Maui coastline to protect and restore Maui’s coral reefs. By reducing threats to reefs such as poor water quality and overfishing, CORAL strives to create a healthy environment in which coral reefs can adapt to changes and survive long into the future for generations to come.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, and with field offices all over the world, CORAL unites communities to save coral reefs. Working with local people—from fishermen to government leaders, divers to scientists, Californians to Fijians—CORAL protects one of our most valuable and threatened ecosystems. Their international team designs long-term and lasting conservation programs that reduce the threats to coral reefs and are replicated across the globe. For more information about CORAL or to make a donation to protect coral reefs, visit