Respecting Coral Reefs in Hawaii
Support for the Respecting Coral Reefs Sign Project
“The Kihei Community Association believes that part of our obligation is to protect the vital natural resources in the South Maui area. Once we became aware of this program, the board of directors unanimously approved a solicitation of funds from supporters to sponsor a reef etiquette sign to be placed at a beach location. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we will place ours right at a beach access to Kamaole Beach Park III, adjacent to the lifeguard tower, where it will be highly visible and permit observers to talk with ocean activity officers to obtain more information."
—Mike Moran, KCA Board Member
“The signs really work. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about their potential impact. We installed Respecting Coral Reef signs at Wailea Beach, Ulua Beach, and as of this morning, Keawekapu-1. Almost everyone (99 percent) who walks by these signs actually stops to read them. Definitely one of the best bang-for-your-buck marine conservation/education investments you can make.”
—Terry Hunt, operations manager, Wailea Community Association
"As director of operations for the 20th Anniversary of EarthDay Chicago, I was made keenly aware of the need for public information. My participation in this sign project gives me the opportunity to give back to Maui, my home, my love."
—Jilly Goldman, realtor-broker, Century 21 All Islands
“Island Spirit Yoga believes in honoring the sacred elements within our island environment. The ocean, beaches, and reefs are vital resources and we are dedicated to their protection for the enjoyment of our local and global community. Through our participation in the Respecting Coral Reefs sign program, Island Spirit Yoga hopes to promote a sense of harmony, balance, and peace between the public and our reefs.”
—-Mahalo Nui Loa, Greg Ruzicka, Deborah DiPierro, and Christy Abelov, Island Spirit Yoga
"Sheraton Maui Resort is pleased to take part in this vital program designed to gain the attention of both visitors and Kama‘aina to reiterate the importance of respecting the ecological balance that makes Hawaii so unique."
—Chip Bahouth, general manager, Sheraton Maui Resort
“A few words from us here at Kelii's Kayak Tours, which echo the sentiments of all our staff and guides: educating people on how to respect and treat our valuable marine resources, including the importance of preserving our reefs, is a big part of what our business is based on. Having a Respecting Coral Reefs sign on the beach for the public to view fits right in with our overall philosophy that education is a critical tool for protecting our marine resources for the future.”
—Anne Taylor, owner, Kelii’s Kayak Tours
"Reserve staff looks forward to the installation of these vibrant interpretive signs in areas of the reserve popular with snorkelers. The irreplaceable natural resources contained within the protected boundary waters of the reserve should be appreciated and therefore properly respected. Thanks to the team who designed them for being so proactive with the creation of these interpretive signs, which are as beautiful as they are informative."
—Ranger Staff, Ahihi Kina’u Natural Area Reserve
“As Maui County celebrates the 2008 International Year of the Reef, the Respecting Coral Reefs program is making wonderful contributions to many communities with the installation of its reef etiquette signs. We are fortunate to have conservation leaders like Liz Foote who are working so diligently to increase awareness of Maui's coral reefs and their need for better protection. The Kihei Community Association is to be applauded for its ongoing efforts to keep its members actively involved and informed about the issues affecting their community. We sincerely appreciate their contribution to the South Maui community with their sponsorship of a sign at Kamaole III Beach Park, as well as the contributions of all the other sign sponsors across Maui."
—Kühea Paracuelles, Maui County environmental coordinator, Office of the Mayor
“Congratulations on the completion of the signs! They look fabulous, and are a positive step toward educating the public. Ironically, I was diving at Kahekili beach just a few days ago, and observed two divers touching and grabbing live coral throughout their dive. After they surfaced and took off their gear, I had a friendly conversation with them about coral reefs, i.e., that coral is alive and can be damaged when it's touched. It would have been helpful to have had a sign near the beach, such as the one you developed, to use as the basis of a conversation about coral reef etiquette. The signs will no doubt be helpful to future divers, dive masters, or dive instructors for debriefings about coral reefs before they hop in the water. Coral reef health is declining at many sites around Maui, and we need to make every effort to encourage proper coral reef etiquette to minimize our impact on Maui's coral reefs. Many people are unaware of the negative effects they can have on coral reef organisms. Touching, standing on, brushing against, or handling coral reef organisms can be dangerous both for the person and the coral reef. These signs will be a tremendous help toward educating the general public, and thus helping our reefs!”
—Heather Spalding, Ph.D. candidate, University of Hawaii
"For the past seven or so years, Pacific Whale Foundation has been offering a free Onsite Coral Reef Naturalist program at Ulua Beach in Wailea, to educate snorkelers about eco-friendly reef exploration. We were very happy to donate the money to put in a Respecting Coral Reefs sign at this location; it supports our goal of educating the public about protecting the reefs."
—Anne Rillero, communications director, Pacific Whale Foundation
“There are so many things eating away at the health of our reefs. Educating typical beach users is only a small step in the overall picture, but at least it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, greater awareness will help change some of the larger issues like coastal overdevelopment and island waste management.”
—Mike Roberts, owner, Reeflections Underwater Photography