FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
News Releases 2005
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VESSEL COMES ASHORE IN HEAVY SURF IN FRONT OF SANCTUARY OFFICE ON MAUI
A vessel came ashore during heavy surf on September 14 in front of the NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary office in Kihei, Maui. The vessel, a 45-foot trimaran named Sugarae, apparently broke loose of its moorings during a large south swell that impacted areas throughout South Maui.
Sanctuary staff reported that the vessel first came ashore on top of the submerged walls of a historic native Hawaiian fishpond, Ko‘ie‘ie Fishpond during hightide. A nonprofit group, ‘Ao‘ao O Na Loko I‘a O Maui, working to restore and revitalize the fishpond is planning a community celebration to officially kickoff restoration of the fishpond walls this Saturday. Ko‘ie‘ie Fishpond, located near Kalepolepo Park and the sanctuary office is a National Registered Historic site.
According to Kimokeo Kapahulehua, president of the fishpond association, “The boat grounded itself on the wall and proceeded to move down along the wall, scraping the rocks and damaging the algae which is an important nutrient and food source for the fish and small organisms living in the fishpond. Fortunately, we are just beginning the rebuilding of the wall; otherwise this boat would have destroyed an intact wall of the fishpond.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently working to determine if materials on the vessel poses any threat of pollution. State officials are working to contact the vessel owner to have the vessel removed from the shoreline. In addition, sanctuary staff are working with NOAA Law Enforcement officials to investigate if any sanctuary regulations were violated.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is administered by a partnership of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and the State of Hawai‘I Department of Land and Natural Resources.
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s marine environment and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov