No reef in this sale

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Sorry, the sailor/punster in me took over the keyboard for a minute—what I wanted to write about was a very cool thing The Fairmont Orchid is doing by partnering with the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s Kalakaua Marine Education Center to regularly monitor Pauoa Bay and the coral reef environment located off the oceanfront resort.

From the press release: "The unprecedented partnership between U.H.-Hilo and the hotel’s employee-driven Green Committee will ensure the reef and its countless inhabitants remain healthy by conducting a qualitative baseline study which includes monitoring coral growth, and measuring water temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrient and sediment levels. After the results are analyzed, the hotel and U.H. scientists can determine the best course of action for protecting the reef and its inhabitants.

"’Our initial impression is that the coral reef environment fronting The Fairmont Orchid is very healthy, and we’d like to help the staff learn how to keep it that way,’ said Dr. Walter Dudley, U.H.-Hilo professor of oceanography." The hotel already uses 100 percent organic water-insoluble fertilizer—which doesn’t leach into the ocean--throughout the 32-acre property.

Just another great idea from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide, all of whose 43 properties have environmental or "green" programs in place. I’ve done my share of water quality sampling and monitoring as a volunteer for our local river association, and urge you all to check into what programs are available in your area. I know Earth Day has passed, but keeping our air and water quality up takes a 365-day-a-year effort.

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