Hawaiian Electric Companies support MalamaMaunalua with a $15,000 grant
For the past decade, MalamaMaunalua, a community-based non-profit organization committed to restoring the health of Maunalua Bay, has been removing invasive algae from Maunalua Bay with the help of volunteer community groups. The nonprofit focuses on reducing the three major threats to Maunalua Bay: removing invasive alien algae, reducing run-off of sediment and pollutants and increasing marine life. By collaborating with community members, conservation partners and government agencies, the nonprofit is finding solutions to these ecological problems.
Recently, the Hawaiian Electric Companies awarded MalamaMaunalua with a $15,000 grant to support critical conservation projects in the bay, the near shore area that stretches from Black Point to Portlock Point. Sean Moura, Hawaiian Electric’s wildlife biologist and an environmental scientist in the company’s Environmental Department, presented the grant during a community workday at the bay. Moura, a Hawaiʻi Kai resident who has volunteered with MalamaMaunalua, said the organization’s efforts to raise awareness of marine conservation and grow community participation aligns with Hawaiian Electric’s value of environmental stewardship. “Developing the next generation of marine stewards by engaging with public and private organizations speaks to the long-term conservation of the Bay, and we gladly support that effort,” Moura says.
Hawaiian Electric’s grant will help expand MalamaMaunalua’s Habitat Restoration Program, which includes increasing community huki (pull) events where volunteers assist in removing invasive alien algae, launching an initiative to restore native sea grass, developing a bay algae consortium to address the implementation of restoration techniques and monitoring, and expanding community engagement through research, internships and careers. In addition, a priority for MalamaMaunalua is the development of a partner-supported knowledge geo-database to be used to guide management priorities and strategic uses for the bay.