West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative Presents “Silver Lining of the Pandemic”

The West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative partners online for a free presentation, “Silver Lining of the Pandemic” in which the group will discuss how COVID-19 has created an experiment to study reduced human impacts on water quality and coral reef health at Kahekili in West Maui.  The presentation will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 online via Zoom.

It is free for anyone to participate; a link to register can be found HERE. Registrants will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A after the presentation.

The team of presenters includes Andrea Kealoha, PhD, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College; Katie Shamberger, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University; and Yina Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Oceanography, Texas A&M University.

On March 26, 2020, a mandatory two week quarantine for all out-of-state visitors went into effect. The quarantine resulted in dropped visitor arrivals to Hawaiʻi by 99.5% and has led to a substantial decline in Maui’s population, as well as a reduction in the amount of wastewater received, treated and injected.

Presenters will discuss the impacts of reduced tourism on water quality at Kahekili Beach Park in West Maui, including nutrient loading, emerging organic pollutants, and acidification, and what these changes could mean for coral reef health.

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