New Study Shows Honolua Among the Highest Level of Bacteria in Hawaii

REPORT: Cleanliness of state’s waters slips

Group aiming to safeguard Earth says isle beach water quality high

June 29, 2012
By NANEA KALANI - Staff Writer ( The Maui News–Cleanliness-of-state-s-waters-slips.html?nav=10

The study looked at data for a total of 47 beaches on Maui that the state Health Department monitors either twice a week or twice a month. Hawaii’s beach water monitoring program is carried out by the department’s Clean Water Branch.

The report found that samples at 11 of those Maui beaches - or 2 percent - exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacterial standard of 104 colonies per 100 milliliters.

The so-called exceedance levels - the percent of samples at individual beaches that exceeded standards - ranged from a low of 1 percent (at Kamaole Beach Park III and Kanaha Beach Park) to a high of 50 percent (at Honolua Bay). Two beaches on Kauai - Glass Beach and Hanapepe Bay - also had a 50 percent exceedance rate, the highest among the 161 beaches monitored in Hawaii.

The Department of Health tests for enterococcus, a bacterial microorganism found in human and animal waste, as well as Clostridium perfringens, a tracer for human sewage. Samples are taken 1 foot below the surface in water that is knee-to-waist deep.

The report said most of Hawaii’s beach water contamination is tied to heavy rainfall, with less than 1 percent of contamination related to sewage spills or leaks.

It is unclear from the report why Honolua Bay’s exceedance level was so high last year.

The state Health Department did not immediately respond to requests for additional information about Honolua Bay.

The Maui office of the Aquatic Resources Division under the state Department of Land and Natural Resources says heavy rainfall in the area causes surface runoff into the bay, which contributes to poor water quality.

A 2007 study by University of Hawaii researchers also points to sediment runoff from rains as impacting water quality in Honolua Bay.

That report was prepared for landowner Maui Land & Pineapple Co. by the university’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management.

“Turbid water conditions occur from runoff and stream flow during rainfall events and through sediments during windy conditions,” the study said. The researchers also noted that because Honolua is a bay, pollutants that settle in the bay can get trapped for up to six months.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said in its report that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for ensuring that recreational waters are safe for swimming. But it notes that those standards have not been updated since 1986.

The EPA has proposed draft standards as required by the federal Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000, which are expected to be finalized in October.

“The EPA has recommended bacteria levels as ’safe’ in recreational waters even though the agency estimated they would permit one in 28 swimmers to become ill with gastrointestinal sicknesses,” the Natural Resources Defense Council said. “The EPA should revise the level of acceptable risk when it finalizes its new standards this fall so that they are more protective of public health.”

The report also looked at the number of beach contamination warnings and advisories issued last year.

The state Department of Health issues warnings for bacterial exceedances and sewage advisories. It also issues brown water advisories when it determines that storm water will cause water quality problems, including debris and dead animals in nearshore waters, the report said.

Student Documentary of Honolua by Joseph Graves

Student Documentary

New Women’s Burnout Tanks and Closeout Prices on Other Shirts

We just got a new style of women’s tank tops in.  They are beautiful and were hand printed by our President Tamara Paltin.  Check them out in our logo shop.

Also, we are clearing out our older inventory so women’s spaghetti strap tanks, men’s tanks, and children’s sized shirts are all going for $10!

Our burnout tanks are modeled by our treasurer Courtney. “What I love about Honolua is the feeling i get when i am there.  No matter what, i have an unexplained feeling of contentment and gratefulness for its beauty.  It rejuvenates me in all that we do for Honolua and it makes me want to do even more.”

Honolua Earthday Cleanup w/ Surfrider - April 21


Lahaina News: Coalition hopes to acquire vacant lot at Honolua Bay shoreline

March 29, 2012
Louise Rockett Lahaina News

Hawaiians consider it a treasured cultural resource.

To some, it’s a world-class, big wave surf spot; to others, it’s a Marine Life Conservation District.

Environmentalists are trying to protect it; land trusts want to manage it; community groups want to save it; and the children of West Maui don’t want to lose it.

There are kuleana lands within it, and “McMansions” have been built around it.

Everyone agrees it has an intrinsic value, but price tags have been put on it.

The hills south of the rugged shoreline have been bulldozed, landscaped and tamed; and, with urban growth extending north, some call it the last stand.

One activist worried, “If we don’t stop development here, what’s next?”

In 2007, in response to the threat of the development of 40 homes and a golf course at the Upper West Side haven, the powerful Save Honolua Coalition (SHC) was formed.

Its vision was, and still is, to revitalize the health of the Honolua Ahupua’a through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian values and practices.

With strong leadership and international support, SHC’s mission is to create a bridge between the needs of the aina, people and the landowner.

A 9,471-square-foot vacant lot near the shoreline of the bay was recently put on the auction block; and, conservation buyers Wayne and Elle Cochran outbid Maui Land & Pineapple Company with a $30,000 offer.?

The Cochrans call Honolua their home. Wayne is on the SHC board, and Elle is a member of the Maui County Council.

In an interview with the Lahaina News, Elle explained their position.

“You purchase land for another entity or organization. That is what the Trust for Public Land has done for Paukukalo for the county.?

“What Wayno and I have done is on a smaller scale but basically for the same principal. Someone fronts the money to hold it, knowing all along that another entity or organization will take it over,” she said.

Ultimately, she added, “I want the Save Honolua Coalition to take care of it, to manage it, to malama it.? They have a plan,” she said.

“The goal is for that end of the island to be preserved and protected,” the first president of the coalition continued, “and I think they are that entity to accomplish that. This little parcel will just be a stepping stone in order to accomplish both goals.?I think it is definitely a benefit, and that’s what I’d like to see happen.”

Elle cautioned, “The auction is not finalized. We don’t own the land until the judge brings down the gavel to close the deal.?Until then, everything is up in the air. I have no idea what’s going to happen. It’s quite scary.”

The confirmation hearing on the auction has been extended to mid-September.

At that time, Cochran explained, “the bidding process is reopened. They will ask three times.?If nobody says anything, we, the Cochrans, close the deal. If someone steps in and bids (at least 5 percent higher than $30,000), the bidding starts all over again.”

Tamara Paltin is the current president of the grassroots nonprofit SHC. To her, the

“It is a real small parcel, but the location to do positive things for Honolua Bay as far as management and things like that is immeasurable,” she said.

She has put her pen to the task of drafting a management plan and is lobbying the county for support with the circulation to elected officials, and a request to “provide some of the funds set aside for the acquisition of land at Honolua from the open space fund …”

“The Save Honolua Coalition has raised some money in the form of donation/pledges/loans in case a bidding war resumes, and we do have a management plan,” she wrote.

The objectives of the management plan are simple and straightforward: 1) To continue to provide port-a-potty service; 2) Reinstate a Makai Watch education station; 3) Provide education and support for the use of newly installed “day-use mooring buoys” within the Honolua Marine Life Conservation District; and, 4) Provide networking and community service opportunities for interested youth and the public.

Beyond that, the coalition has a loftier purpose - to bring all stakeholders under one umbrella.

“What I see happening here is the community, our elected officials and the company (Maui Land and Pineapple Company) all coming together to make sure that a small but important piece of Honolua is kept in open space.?It is a meaningful step towards the higher goal which is to preserve, and hopefully heal, what is left of the Honolua Ahupua’a,” SHC Secretary John Carty concluded.