Courtesy – Maui Ocean Center

The Mā‘alaea Triangle Association (MTA) has recently implemented innovative lighting solutions aimed at safeguarding native seabirds and sea turtles in their parking lot. This association oversees the management of shared common areas among neighboring businesses, including the Maui Ocean Center. The project aligns with the Maui County Council’s new plan to create outdoor lighting standards.

By minimizing blue light, this initiative positively impacts sea turtles, near-shore coral reef organisms, and seabirds. Young turtles can be easily distracted by bright lights, while nighttime illumination can disrupt the biological rhythms of the reef, as noted by Jennifer Learned from the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project.

Seabirds, both adult birds and newly fledged chicks tend to be drawn toward sources of light, often circling them until they exhaust themselves or collide with structures. Parking lots are of particular concern, as the reflection of light off the pavement can be especially confusing to these birds, potentially resembling water. Visitors to Maui Ocean Center can explore the new educational kiosk established by the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project in the park to learn more about these vital efforts.

Courtesy – Maui Ocean Center

The MTA project surpasses the criteria in Bill 21, enacted by the Maui County Council last year to prevent wildlife from becoming disoriented due to excessive lighting. The newly installed SCL2 Series solar luminaires are fully-shielded and utilize blue light shields and smart controllers to ensure there is minimal light trespass.

Tapani Vuori, the general manager at Maui Ocean Center, expressed pride in collaborating with the Maui County Council to develop Bill 21. He highlighted that their project stands as the largest commercial lighting installation on Maui, not only adhering to the bill’s requirements but surpassing them.

Our SCL2 Series luminaire effectively covers the entire 640-stall parking lot. We worked closely with our partners Honolulu-based Goldwings Supply Service, Inc, to complete this project. Our lights were equipped with filters that reduce blue light emissions to less than 2 percent, a threshold set by the Maui County Council to mitigate the impact of artificial lighting on local wildlife. Additionally, their installation didn’t require wiring or trenching, minimizing the environmental footprint of this important initiative.

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