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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 14, 2010

Help protect Maunalua Bay

By Jolie Wanger
Reader submitted

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Mauka Watch volunteers test the water of Kuli'ou'ou Stream.

Photo by Stacey Kilarski

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Do you know what's coming off the land and into the water where you play?

Are the fish you catch living in clean water?

To the casual observer, Maunalua Bay in East O'ahu, stretching from Black Point to Portlock Point, is a beautiful body of water. But below the surface, this is a bay in trouble. It needs our help.

Decades of polluted run-off have damaged this treasure. To save it, we have to take immediate steps, starting with an understanding of what's in it.

Malama Maunalua, in partnership with the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program, coordinates Mauka Watch, a program that trains volunteers to monitor the watersheds that empty into Maunalua Bay.

Volunteers learn how to test water quality for damaging pollutants, and contribute valuable data to bay restoration. The Mauka Watch program augments the Makai Watch program, which educates about and monitors marine resources.

A workshop is being offered March 25 (5:30-8:30 p.m.) and 27 (2-5 p.m.) to train new volunteers. This is an opportunity to learn about the watersheds and work with the community to restore Maunalua Bay. Volunteers are needed to attend two training sessions and conduct monthly monitoring starting in April.

To register, contact Jolie Wanger at jolie@malamamaunalua.org, or call 744-0052.

Malama Maunalua is a community-based organization aimed at preserving and restoring the health of the Maunalua region through community kuleana.

The University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program is part of a national network of 32 university-based programs that promote better understanding, conservation and use of coastal resources.