Landowners Can Help West Maui Reefs


March 2, 2012

West Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, with incredibly gentle surf, perfect for snorkeling or paddle boarding. Peering through a snorkel mask at the beautiful formations of reef and at the flashy native species of fish, is a joy to residents and tourists alike.

Over the past 10 years, however, there has been a marked decline in reef life, and significant beach erosion around the West Maui shoreline, especially in the Ma’alaea area. Researchers believe that much of this is due to human development.

For the benefit of West Maui’s reefs, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has created the Coral Reef Initiative. This plan provides funding to aid West Maui land owners and agricultural producers in some new land conservation practices that will, in turn, have a positive effect on our coastal issues.

The Coral Reef Initiative will implement methods like vegetable barriers, crop cover, basins for sediment, micro-irrigation systems, maintaining high water quality, and other practices that will help to avoid soil erosion. In addition to agricultural suggestions, the planting and restoration of native Hawaiian trees and shrubs will be a great help in renewing a healthy ecosystem. You can make a lovely Maui home even lovelier with the addition of these extraordinary species, and because they are native, they are adapted specifically to thrive on the island.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program, will provide financial and technical support to the Initiative. The applicable zones range from West Maui, Kahakuloa, Waihee, Wailuku, Waikapu, and Ma’alaea.

Whether you’re planning on purchasing a charming West Maui home or a plot for some organic farming, it’s good to know about the positive efforts being made within our community to better the health of our island as a whole. If you’re interested in applying to join the Coral Reef Initiative, you may contact the Kahului NRCS office at 77 Hookele Street, Suite 202, Kahului, or by phone at (808) 871-5500. Application processing and ranking will begin on March 16th, and if additional funding is available, the process will repeat on May 18th. If you’d like to learn more about this and other NRCS programs, visit In the meantime, if you are interested in assistance with your Maui real estate search and purchase, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We would be happy to help! Mahalo!

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