Hui O Ka Wai Ola increased its response to the Lahaina wildfires by launching four additional coastal water testing sites in West Maui and by hiring the organization’s first Fire Response Team Lead.
While Hui O Ka Wai Ola’s West Maui Lab was destroyed in the August wildfires, the organization has continued actively monitoring coastal water conditions in West Maui and was the first group to perform post-fire sampling in the area.
On Aug. 14, Hui O Ka Wai Ola collected samples from 15 West Maui sites flanking either side of Lahaina. On Aug. 30, Hui O Ka Wai Ola gained access to the burn zone and resumed sampling at its three existing Lahaina sites, 505 Front Street, Kauaula Road, and Polanui-Uhailio, while strategically adding four new sampling sites: Māla Tavern, Māla Ramp, Papalaua Street, and Lahaina Harbor.
Hui O Ka Wai Ola is one of the only environmental groups in the area that is working under a Quality Assured Project Plan, producing data that is documented as quality-assured and quality-controlled and can be used by state and local organizations.
Since Aug. 14, staff and volunteers have continuously collected samples and tested them for temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen, which are currently showing normal ranges. Hui O Ka Wai Ola is collaborating with the Surfrider Blue Water Task Force to test West Maui waters for Enterococcus – a bacteria known for causing swimming-associated gastrointestinal illness. Findings from this study can be found on the Surfrider website: maui.surfrider.org/bwtf
Most recently, Hui O Ka Wai Ola collected samples from the Lahaina sites to test for the presence of heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and semi-volatile organic compounds in collaboration with research partners. While the organization seeks to rebuild its West Maui lab, Hui O Ka Wai Ola’s partner organizations are processing water samples, with findings yet to be released.
All previous Hui O Ka Wai Ola data can be found at: https://www.huiokawaiola.com/findings.html.
If you’d like to donate to rebuilding Hui O Ka Wai Ola’s West Maui lab, click here.