From ridge to reef
Maui is the second-largest island in Hawai‘i with beautiful but endangered reefs that are precious to local residents and the tourist economy.
In West Maui, our work focuses on restoring natural filtration processes within watersheds to prevent land-based water pollution from degrading reefs. High levels of sediment runoff can reduce corals’ access to sunlight by smothering them, negatively impacting reef health. High nutrients cause algal blooms which can overtake coral and promote coral disease. We take a “ridge to reef” approach to restore the natural function of an ahupua‘a (watershed) to filter stormwater and absorb nutrients, sediments and other chemicals.
At the shoreline
In coastal areas, we provide guidance to shoreline property owners, the tourism industry and Maui County on how to implement reef-friendly landscaping design which naturally filters stormwater before it reaches the ocean.
On the mauka (mountain), our work focuses on stream restoration to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients flowing into the ocean. We are working with farmers, Hawaiian communities, local nonprofits, private businesses, and the government to pilot stream restoration techniques that combine modern technology with native vegetation and traditional agricultural practices. To increase filtration processes in and around stream beds, we are re-establishing native vegetation and taking lessons from Hawaiʻi’s long history of traditional agricultural practices. We are also planting deep-rooted vetiver grasses, which trap and stabilize sediments and enable native vegetation to thrive.
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is honored to join the Maui Nui Makai Network—a network of community groups from across Maui Nui that protect and care for marine and coastal ecosystems. The network was established in 2013 when community organizations decided they would be stronger working together than separately. Network members meet regularly to learn… Continue Reading →
Over 20 tons of sediment has been captured in the mountains above Lahaina, the result of a collaborative restoration project led by the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). West Maui is laden with historic sugarcane and pineapple plantations that are now out-of-use. During heavy rain events, the potentially contaminated soil from these degraded landscapes travels down… Continue Reading →
Last month, we were honored to be selected by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) as a recipient of the Coral Reef Conservation Fund grant, our second in as many years. The grant supports our restoration projects in West Maui, Hawai‘i where we’re planting native plants along stream banks and degraded agricultural lands to… Continue Reading →
10-year-old Abby Rogers has converted her backyard into a native plant nursery to help save coral reefs. Rogers is a volunteer with the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), helping to grow native plants that will be transplanted at their stream restoration site in Wahikuli. The native plants trap sediment that runs off the slope and into… Continue Reading →
For Immediate Release Thursday, October 1, 2020 Maui, Hawai’i – 10-year-old Abby Rogers has converted her backyard into a native plant nursery to help save coral reefs. Rogers is a volunteer with the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), helping to grow native plants that will be transplanted at their stream restoration site in Wahikuli. The native… Continue Reading →
Jen Vander Veur is fighting an uphill battle to save coral reefs on the slopes of West Maui’s mountains. Jen is CORAL’s Program Manager in Maui, and she’s leading the charge on restoring Maui’s once lush forest to stabilize the soil and protect coral reefs downstream from being smothered by sediment, reversing the effects of… Continue Reading →
If you walk along a certain dirt road in the Wahikuli watershed in West Maui, you will see a large sign made by the Coral Reef Alliance asking bikers for their kokua (help) in avoiding this road and taking an alternative road nearby instead. What does this road a mile from the shoreline have to… Continue Reading →
CORAL is excited to announce a new partnership with Skye Instruments, LLC to benefit our Clean Water for Reefs Initiative in Maui. Earlier this month, our team installed two weather stations in the Honokōwai and Wahikuli watersheds. Skye Instruments generously donated a weather station for each of the watersheds we are currently working on restoring in the… Continue Reading →
For Immediate Release Friday, February 8th, 2019 Coral Reef Alliance partners with PangeaSeed Foundation and Wooden Wave artists to create a mural in Maui of our Clean Water for Reefs initiative West Maui, Hawaiʻi– The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is excited to share the news of the completion of a mural in Maui that shows… Continue Reading →