Maui Water Quality Research Receives $ 40,000 Donation

Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Charitable Trust representatives at EUH Maui College Water Quality Laboratory

The only water quality laboratory on the island of Maui is at the University of Hawaii Maui College, and he recently received a gift of $ 40,000 from Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Charitable Trust (KORCT). The funding will be used for a student internship in the laboratory and to purchase a peristaltic pump to filter seawater, a laboratory furnace for combustion of bottles and general laboratory supplies.

The EUH Maui College Water Quality Lab measures dissolved inorganic and organic nutrients as well as E. coli in seawater and freshwater. The lab provides services at a per sample rate to industry, researchers, non-profit organizations and the community. Prior to its inception in 2020, samples had to be airlifted to Honolulu, often on ice and within hours of collection.

Andrea Kealoha
Andrea Kealoha

The laboratory is led by Andrea Kealoha. The EUH Mānoa’s former student was born and raised in Pa’ia and graduated from King Kekaulike High School. During the pandemic, Kealoha conducted research off Kahekili Beach Park, site of the injection wells for the Lahaina Sewage Recovery Facility. Given the improvements in sanitation infrastructure and the dramatic reduction in tourism, Kealoha had an unprecedented opportunity to study the potential positive impacts of improved water quality on the health and resilience of people. coral reefs, just in front of the Ka’anapali Seaside resort by the ocean.

“When we found out that Andrea’s work literally took place in our garden, we were eager to participate and involve our owners,” said Ka’anapali Ocean Resort General Manager Ryan Nobriga.

KORCT invests in preserving the health of local reefs and supports efforts in this area from mauka to makai (from mountain to ocean).

In 2019, EUH Maui College has started offering a new science lab technician certificate program to provide knowledge and skills to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental and water quality data. Kealoha then said that the labor demand for lab technicians with expertise in environmental and water quality testing in Hawaii is expected to increase by 36% by 2025.

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