In recent weeks, CORAL was selected as a grantee for the Marine 30×30 Pooled Fund by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, alongside five other community groups and nonprofit organizations in Maui, Hawai‘i. Together, we are working with the state, partners, and community members to restore Hawai‘i’s marine environments and contribute to the protection of 30 percent of nearshore waters by 2030.
Funding from the Marine 30×30 Pooled Fund will support our work with Kīpuka Olowalu, a local partner organization that preserves the culture, beauty, and environment of the Olowalu Valley and its reefs. The Olowalu Reef along the west coast of Maui, also known as the “Mother Reef,” contains some of Hawai‘i’s oldest corals and acts as an important source of larvae to Maui Nui. It also provides food and shelter to many marine animals and is significant to Native Hawaiian culture and the local economy.
Currently, we risk losing Olowalu’s coral reefs due to local stressors in the area, like land-based pollution. When it rains, sediment runs off of degraded landscapes, enters the ocean, and pollutes the water. These contaminants then block sunlight, increase the risk of coral disease, and ultimately can smother coral reefs.
We need to act now if we want to save Olowalu’s reefs and contribute to the protection of Hawai‘i’s nearshore waters. And thanks to the support from Hawai‘i Community Foundation, we are one step closer. This year, we will collaborate with Kīpuka Olowalu to increase their capacity to implement new coastal resilience strategies in the valley above Olowalu’s reefs. Additionally, we plan to increase awareness and urgency around community action and focus on systemic and structural problems that have led to poor land management.
Thank you for driving this important work! Keep reading to learn more about our programs across the Hawaiian Islands and how your support can make an impact in the region.