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Restoring Paradise: General Contractors Association of Hawaii Members Maintain Hawaii’s Natural Beauty

June 2024

Building Hawaii in a sustainable, responsible manner goes hand in hand with taking care of the islands and surrounding oceans.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC), composed of up-and-coming construction industry leaders within the General Contractors Association of Hawaii, demonstrated their commitment to environmental stewardship during their annual service project with Mālama Maunalua, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the marine resources of Maunalua Bay on the south shore of Oahu.

The organization focuses on removing invasive algae, restoring reefs with thermally resistant corals, outplanting native sea urchins to help mitigate the growth of invasive algae, and assessing runoff impacts in the region.

More than 30 CLC members, along with their family and friends, gathered at Maunalua Bay on Saturday, June 22, 2024 devoting the entire morning to removing invasive algae from the Pokai Beach portion of the bay that stretches from Diamond Head and Koko Head on the Island of Oahu.

“Algae is something often overlooked and taken for granted, which made it not only a unique community service opportunity, but an educational one,” said Preston Matsuo, Chair of the CLC’s Service Projects sub-committee and the project’s lead. “We learned about the impact that algae can have on our beaches. Throughout the event, we learned about the different types of native and invasive algae species and the impact that invasive types have on the ecosystem.”

“The most enjoyable aspect of volunteering for this project was learning about the bay's transformation from the founding of Mālama Maunalua to today,” added Travis Higa, Chair of the CLC. “It really added value to the work that we were doing and I felt that made our efforts that much more rewarding.”

“And, all the work is done in the water at a beautiful beach, so you can't beat that!”

Matsuo offered the following advice to those seeking an inspiring experience or starting a community event: “Open it up to family and friends! It’s so much more fun and rewarding when you get to experience making a positive impact on the community with not only colleagues, but your loved ones.”