Hui O Ka Wai Ola Prioritizes Clean Ocean Water After Lahaina Fires 


Hui O Ka Wai Ola (HOKWO) is an environmental non-profit on Maui whose team is continuing their clean ocean water testing, despite losing their lab to the Lahaina fires. KaiAloha Supply has proudly partnered with them since 2022 and recently donated 100 volunteer shirts for their team to utilize as new uniforms. 


“I want to thank you again for the shirts! They are such nice quality and look great! Love seeing your logo on the back! Plus they are so soft!! I’ve been giving the new shirts to our volunteers as I see them in the field and everyone is so appreciative of KaiAloha!" senior team lead at Hui O Ka Wai Ola, Liz Yannell said.


One of HOKWO's West Maui sample teams and new Lahaina Fire Response Team Lead at Napili Bay. (Photo courtesy of Liz Yannell)


While their team slowly heals from their losses and adjusts to their new norm, they still meet at their sampling sites to collect data. “We began testing in Lahaina on August 30 and have collected enough data in Lahaina to feel like we have a baseline of post-fire data. Now we are testing our seven Lahaina sites once every three weeks along with all of our other west Maui sites,” Yannell said. They are also creating a new Storm Trooper Team whose responsibilities are to test their Lahaina and North Kihei sites during the first 24 hours and again after 72 hours of rain. This way, they’ll be able to test their coastal waters after the “first flush” of rains. By doing so, HOKWO emphasizes the importance of clean ocean water for recreational activities and sea life protection.


Strategic Planning meeting with members from HOKWO's Steering Committee. This is made up of their partnering organizations: The Nature Conservancy, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council and West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. (Photo courtesy of Liz Yannell)


HOKWO hopes to raise more funds than normal on “Giving Tuesday" happening on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They plan to use the funds they receive during this giving season towards the rebuilding of their lab and the shifts and expansion of their work. They're also looking for volunteers for their West and South Maui sampling teams who can commit to sampling once every three weeks for a year.