Environment & Ecology

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Nene O Molokai press release

Photo by Michael Walther.

Koloma Smith reported the return of the kolea at Kilohana School at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6, marking the beginning of the fall migration of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). Koloma won the 18th annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest and earned a Kolea Research Hawaii T-shirt from the Hawaii Audubon Society and a gift certificate for one scoop of ice cream at Kamoi Snack-N-Go.

The kolea is a swift flying shorebird and has been clocked migrating at 118 miles per hour, although an average of 56 to 60 miles miles per hour is more typical.…

Taro Field Day to Host Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai and UH Cooperative Extension Service News Release

The Molokai Taro Variety Field Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual event has been organized by the UH Cooperative Extension Service since 1985, and is something that many residents look forward to. This year promises to be another outstanding event.

An important highlight of this year’s Taro Day is The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition. This year, Molokai has been selected to host the competition, which is held annually at selected sites around the Pae `Aina in honor of Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Na`ea Rooke, who recognized the value of the Hawaiian taro varieties and has written in detail on methods she used to produce large kalo (taro).…

Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove Access

Friday, September 11th, 2015

DHHL News Release

The kupuna of Kalamaula made it clear to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) that Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove is sacred and not a place for recreation.  Following community meetings, it was decided that this significant wahipana (historic site) needed to be better cared for and protected.

DHHL consulted the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources because the agency has jurisdiction over historic sites and obtained authorization to clean and fence Kapuaiwa.  DHHL requests beneficiaries and members of the general public to respect the sacredness of Kapuaiwa while efforts are ongoing to work with the Department of Agriculture to continue diagnose/monitor the health of the trees so future decisions may be made about their well-being.…

Join Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii News Release

For the second year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) is hosting the Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup and Community Service Project on Molokai on Saturday, Aug. 1. Sponsored by Matson, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Parley for the Oceans, this cleanup removes harmful marine debris from one of the most remote beaches on Molokai. Mo`omomi Beach, a mix of rocky and sandy coastline on the island’s north shore, is the first stopping point in the main Hawaiian Islands for marine debris coming from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“Each Hawaiian Island has issues with marine debris but Molokai gets hit extra hard due to its open geography towards the north,” says Kahi Pacarro, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s co-founder and executive director.…

Mapping a Marine Menace

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Mapping a Marine Menace


Volunteers document patches of gorilla ogo near Alii Fishpond. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Armed with GPS units, yardsticks and clipboards, Molokai volunteers and Oahu scientists spent three days last week peering into the island’s shallow south shore waters, looking for an invasive alien algae known as gorilla ogo.

The migrating algae, subject to wind and tides, has settled into Molokai waters and is threatening reef life.

“It can just take over an entire area and become the dominant species,” said Brian Neilson, aquatic invasive species biologist for the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).  “It overcrowds native limu, and it can grow over coral colonies and smother and kill coral.”

Before any removal efforts can begin, however, residents needed to identify the areas of the shoreline most under siege.…

Community Meeting For Proposed Waikolu-Pu`u Ali`i Fence Project

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

DLNR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)  invites the  Molokai community and interested parties to an informational meeting concerning a proposed fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve areas.  The purpose of the proposed project is to protect the natural resources of the Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) while improving hunting opportunities within the Molokai Forest Reserve hunting units.  The fence will help to prevent entry of pigs, goats and deer into the NAR and help to prevent erosion into nearshore waters, protect fisheries and water supplies, and conserve native Hawaiian plants and wildlife.…

Eyes on the Reef

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Cheryl Corbiell

On June 6, Darla White with DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) provided the first “Eyes of the Reef” (EOR) skills training on Molokai at Kulana `Oiwi to an enthusiastic crowd of Molokai residents.

The EOR training has been designed to help ocean users such as community members, reef users, fishers, and commercial operators the skills to provide reliable monitoring and reporting on coral bleaching; coral and fish diseases; Crown-of-thorns Sea stars outbreaks, marine alien invasive species, and native species blooms. The participants learned how to detect the early signs of coral in distress.

“Threats to the world’s reefs have increased by over 30 percent, and today, 75 percent of the coral reefs in the world are threatened,” said White. …

March of the Molokai Mangrove

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Nene O Molokai News Release

Introduced alien mangrove threatens the long-term sustainability of south shore coastal resources. During 2014 and 2015, Sarah Jenkins and Lily Jenkins conducted a study on the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of introduced Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) on Molokai. The intent was to determine if the mangrove has the potential to reach the fringing reef, and if so, what are the impending socioeconomic and ecological impacts.

Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used to interpret aerial imagery, historic maps, and coastal surveys to map seaward migration, analyze ecological effects, and predict the future impact on Molokai’s south shore through benthic habitat modeling.…

Tackling Invasive Algae

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Cheryl Corbiell

The Molokai Gorilla Ogo Survey and Control Project was launched on Saturday, June 6 at Kulana `Oiwi by master of ceremony and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Colette Machado. She was joined by 75 people with passion, knowledge and love for the reef and ocean. For five hours, participants learned about the threat and distribution of the invasive algae on Molokai’s south shore and what other communities have tackled gorilla ogo.

Over the last seven weeks, Machado has gathered seven project partners: Kua Aina Ulu Auamo, OHA, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Ke Kua`aina Hanauna Hou, and Kahina Pohaku Loko I`a.…

Concerns Grow Over Coconut Grove

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Concerns Grow Over Coconut Grove

Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove has stood for more than a century. However, recently residents have begun to notice the deteriorating health of the coconut trees. Scattered among the healthy palms are a number of dead trees, their tall trunks ending abruptly in leafless stubs. Not only are the lifeless trees an eyesore, but the cause of their death is an increasing concern within the community.

Last December, the Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) gathered fruit and leaf samples from the grove for testing, according to Lori Buchanan, field outreach coordinator for MoMISC. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) and UH College of Tropical Agriculture tested the samples and identified multiple pests and diseases.…