October 06, 2005
A lot was said about Maui's fragile ecosystems during the Sept. 29, 2005 Haiku Community Association meeting. Here are some of the participants' best offerings:
Hawai'i Wildlife Fund executive director
"Our oceans are dying. Everything's at risk: the decline of our ocean's health is leading to the decline of our unique island eco-system."
Retired Haleakala National Park superintendent
"I can't believe U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor dismissed the Superferry suit. Ferry transportation will increase the number of alien species brought into Maui. Although more subtle, alien species will do more damage to native ecosystems then chainsaws."
Native plant specialist
"Our legacy is in the making right now. The least we can do is learn the names of Maui's native plants—each one is profound. This will help us develop a connection to our forests and move us to find practical ways to take care of them."
Friends of Haleakala National Park vice president
"The last time I hiked into Haleakala Crater and witnessed the damage created by commercial horseback tours, I wanted to cry. Not only are these 1,000-pound animals ruining sliding sands trail, their droppings are spreading foreign grass and plant species throughout the crater's landscape."
Lucienne de Naie
Maui Tomorrow/Sierra Club activist
"We need to understand everything from the top of the mountain to the sea is interconnected. The condition of Maui's streams and watersheds is tragic."
Retired East Maui Irrigation Co. worker
"Our watershed is drying up and it makes me cry. The shrimp which thrive in cold water, used to be found in the ditches all the way down to Hali'imaile, but now the water is too hot. Without proper management of the watershed, it will not act as the sponge for the rainfall. These people in charge of our natural resources have no common sense. They need to realize there is no such word as 'cannot.'"
Maui County Environmental Coordinator
"Tell your elected officials to put the money where their mouth is; increase funding for the severely under funded Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Government moves at a very slow pace. I encourage you to get involved and help make a difference." MTW
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