Maui Citizen Science Coastal Water Quality Data

Metadata Updated: March 10, 2021

A network of citizen science volunteers periodically monitors water quality at several beaches across the island of Maui in the State of Hawaii. This community-based monitoring effort provides valuable data for resource management purposes. Informed volunteer networks can serve as a community's "eyes and ears" and will often provide the first indications of changes to a system. In addition to the value of early detection, it is important to maintain ongoing monitoring efforts to compile data and document resource conditions.

In addition to water temperature, salinity, turbidity (water clarity), and pH, sampling sites are also monitored for harmful bacteria levels of Enterococcus. This indicator bacteria has been correlated with the presence of human pathogens (disease-causing organisms) and therefore with human illnesses such as gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and various infections in epidemiological studies. As such, it is commonly measured in beach water quality monitoring programs. For reference, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1986 Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria recommends that a water quality alert is posted if either: (a.) the latest water sample exceeds 104 CFU/100 mL of Enterococcus, or (b.) the geometric mean of the past 30 days of water samples exceeds 35 CFU/100 mL. One of the limitations of all available and EPA-approved test methods is that the sample must be incubated for about 24 hours.

Data are managed through an online repository, the Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal (, developed and coordinated by the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) and its partners with funding provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Data collection is coordinated by the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS), Aquanimity Now, the Digital Bus, Save Honolua Coalition, Project S.E.A.-Link, and other local organizations and agencies. Data are publicly distributed by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS).

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date March 10, 2021
Metadata Updated Date March 10, 2021

Metadata Source

Harvested from Commerce Non Spatial Data.json Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date March 10, 2021
Metadata Updated Date March 10, 2021
Publisher Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) (Point of Contact)
Unique Identifier Unknown
Identifier maui_water_quality
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2014-04-09
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 006:48
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 6d1cef8f-ae23-4de6-8929-3e9319e12ac5
Harvest Source Id bce99b55-29c1-47be-b214-b8e71e9180b1
Harvest Source Title Commerce Non Spatial Data.json Harvest Source
Program Code 006:057
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash b09edf002f731e9d17ad7b26dab3d2ae2bf257f2
Source Schema Version 1.1

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