Updated: February 3, 2023
The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force recorded high bacteria levels this month at Kahului Harbor, Haneoʻo in East Maui, Maliko Bay, and Baby Beach on the North Shore.
The citizen science water testing program conducted the tests on Aug. 10, 2022.
This is the second month in a row that Kahului Harbor had high levels of Enterococcus bacteria, with results showing a count of 2400 MPN/100mL. It was the third month in a row for high levels at Haneoʻo, which had 454 MPN/100mL, down from the month before when rates were 1152 MPN/100mL. Baby Beach recorded a rate of 175 MPN/100mL, marking the first time this year that the location had high bacteria levels in the monthly report.
Mendium-high levels were recorded at several popular swimming beaches including: Baldwin Beach, Kūʻau, East Hoʻokipa, and Hāna Bay.
The group plans to add Māʻalaea to its sample sites in the near future, due to injection wells at the location, as well as symptoms reported by surfers in the area. The task force reported medium levels at Māʻalaea, and anticipates having a full report in the near future.
The Surfrider Foundation reports that the Blue Water Task Force provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Surfrider chapters use this program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.
Surfrider Foundation Maui volunteers collect samples from 18 different sites along Maui’s North Shore. Samples are then taken to the Marine Biology Department at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College for testing of enterococcus fecal indicator bacteria.
The results are published on the organization’s website as soon as the lab tests are processed. The goal is to ensure the public is aware of bacteria levels and to make an informed decision regarding water entry.