Last month representatives from seven shoreline properties attended a five week course that introduced participants to “reef-friendly” projects, practices, and activities that enhance the guest experience, save money, and protect the valuable coral reefs here on Maui. Representatives from the following properties were in attendance:
- Hyatt Maui
- Whaler’s Village
- Kahana Sunset
- Four Seasons, Lanai
- Maalaea Banyans Condominium
- Westin Maui Resort and Spa
- UH Maui College
Highlights included a tour of the Westin Maui Resort and Spa where participants learned about “smart” irrigation systems, effective composting, using table salt to kill weeds, and the advantages of planting native plants like hau, naupaka, and pohinahina. Students conducted an ‘infiltration test’ to determine the best site for building a rain garden or other stormwater filtration system, and learned to use tools for calculating rainfall amounts and stormwater volume. There were also discussions led by conservation experts on coral reef ecology as well as watershed dynamics.
During the course, participants developed their own reef-friendly projects that included:
- Eliminating five acres of turf grass and replacing it with native Hawaiian plants
- Replacing concrete walkways with pervious pavement
- Installing rain gardens at beach showers
- Creating an aquaculture tilapia system
- Providing a sustainability tour for guests to learn about hotel sustainability initiatives
- Constructing a prefiltration planter box and stormwater catchment basin to filter runoff
A big thank you goes out to the Westin Maui Resort and Spa for hosting the classes, and to all the participants. We can’t wait to keep working with you to advance your sustainability initiatives!
For more information or tips on making your hotel or condominium more reef-friendly, contact Wes Crile.