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

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 →

CORAL is Selected as a Grantee of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Marine 30×30 Pooled Fund

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… Continue Reading →

Advancing Maui’s Watershed Restoration Project 

Let’s travel to the island of Maui, Hawai‘i—a place of natural beauty, rich culture, and of course, vibrant coral reefs that we work tirelessly to protect. In 2022, we have advanced our watershed restoration project in West Maui, which focuses on decreasing sediment runoff that reaches coral reefs.  West Maui used to have an abundance… Continue Reading →

Thank You for Supporting CORAL’s Volunteers in Maui

We are proud to support a dedicated team of local volunteers in Maui, Hawai’i, as they work to protect the valuable coral reefs in their community.  By using “best management practices,” which are effective measures used to reduce marine pollution, we are able to minimize sediment pollution on coral reefs. Our volunteers grow and plant native… Continue Reading →

Using Native Plants to Protect Coral Reefs

In West Maui, Hawai‘i, CORAL’s Senior Program Manager Jennifer Vander Veur shares how our actions on land can impact what happens under the sea. Run-off sediment is threatening nearby coral reefs and making it harder for them to survive. To address this problem, Vander Veur leads our efforts to protect coral reefs by using native… Continue Reading →

Photo Gallery

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

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Help save the world’s coral reefs