From mountain to sea

Maui Nui includes the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai and the reefs in this region are an important resource because of the high coral cover and connectivity via currents. We are restoring ecosystems to improve the health of these reefs.

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.

Mauka Lands

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.

Recent News

5 Ways To Dive Into #EarthDay with CORAL!

Welcome, ocean enthusiasts and environmental champions! Happy Earth Day! Throughout this Earth Month, we’ve been diving into discussions about how each of us is intricately connected to the ocean and our precious coral reefs. From the air we breathe to the food we eat, the ocean touches every aspect of our lives, reminding us of… Continue Reading →

2023 Year in Review, Ocean-Style

As we welcome in 2024 and anticipate the exciting developments ahead, let’s pause to reflect on the impact we made together in 2023. It was a year filled with significant achievements, insightful articles, and some fantastic new faces joining our team. We invite you to join us in revisiting the standout moments that made 2023… Continue Reading →

Protecting Molokai’s Coral Reefs with the Restoration of Ancient Hawaiian Fish Ponds

A Vital Mission for a Sustainable Future In the crystal clear waters surrounding Molokai, the legacy of Ka Honua Momona (KHM) spans generations, rooted in the island’s rich heritage. Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) and Ka Honua Momona have recently joined hands in a shared commitment to preserving Hawaii’s precious coastal ecosystems. Their partnership aims to… Continue Reading →

“Climate REEFS” Initiative Launched to Advance Equitable Pathways to Climate Adaptation in Asia Pacific

(OAKLAND, CA – November 10, 2023) Today, a consortium of universities, development agencies, and NGOs announced the launch of Climate REEFS, a collaborative project to advance socially equitable climate change adaptation for coastal communities that depend on coral reef resources in Indonesia and the Philippines. Climate REEFS is a project under the UK-Canada Climate Adaptation… Continue Reading →

CORAL Receives Transformational Funding for the Reefs of Maui Nui

CORAL and our partners in Maui Nui have been selected to receive a $3.1 million federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Coastal Zone Management Program. The grant recognizes our alliance’s dedication to protecting and restoring coral reefs around the world and its successful track record in implementing conservation projects. Our… Continue Reading →

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Learn more about our work on the ground and in the water in Maui.

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