Project takes on land pollution harming Maui reefs

Published On: Sep 11 2012 12:41:32 PM HST

HONOLULU -

Hawaii and the federal government are starting a program to reduce the amount of sediment, fertilizer and other pollution that flows into the ocean and harms coral reefs off west Maui.

Coral reefs off Kaanapali and other parts of west Maui have been among the most rapidly deteriorating in the state.

The $3 million first phase of the program will pay for technical studies to help officials better understand what's causing land based pollution.

The studies will also develop ways to address the problem.

The Army Corps of Engineers will cover 75 percent of the initial cost. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will pay for the rest.Land based pollution and overfishing are the two biggest causes of coral reef degradation.

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