I want to thank The Maui News for the Oct. 7 article titled "Task force's plan in place to save, mend coral reefs," which reported on the watershed planning efforts currently under way in West Maui. I am delighted by the responses the article has generated, including many offers from the community to support the project.
I would like to highlight the important role landowners have played in the process thus far. Landowners in the project area have played a critical role in providing insight, ensuring accuracy of information and taking steps toward implementation. Landowners have been cooperative throughout the process, providing information about their land and land uses and granting access.
Land managers take time each month to sit on the West Maui Ridge to Reef Working Group, which informs the watershed planning efforts. In addition, many of the land managers are active members and participants with other organizations concerned with resource management including soil conservation, fire planning, watershed stewardship and other interests oriented toward the collective health and safety of our community.
As many of the recommended actions resulting from this watershed management plan are not mandatory, moving forward, we are counting on the cooperation and support of landowners. Thus far, they have proved to be excellent partners in our planning effort to address land-based pollution to reduce stress on our struggling coral reefs, and I look forward to working together further as we move into the implementation and monitoring phases of the plan.
Coordinator, West Maui Watershed and Coastal Management