Environment & Ecology

Bottles for Change Campaign

Friday, January 30th, 2015

HoloHI News Release

A Hawaii educator plans to run and bike 750 miles around Hawaii in 31 days to launch school-based conservation initiative called Bottles for Change that challenges keiki to help reduce Hawaii’s plastic footprint.

A new study estimates that there are more than 250,000 tons of plastic floating in oceans around the world, destroying marine habitat and contaminating our water and food supply. Lindy Shapiro, founder of the nonprofit Bodhi Education Project on Maui, plans to take an unprecedented, coastal expedition around the Hawaiian Islands named holoHI (the Hawaiian word “holo” means to run or ride on) – kicked off before sunrise on Jan.…

Christmas Bird Count

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Christmas Bird Count

Photo by Josiah Ching.

Community Contributed

By Josiah Ching

As part of the 115th annual National Audubon Society’s Christmas bird count, a small group of dedicated volunteers set out to conduct a survey of the bird population on Molokai. The national survey is both the longest running citizen science survey as well as the longest running wildlife survey to date. The local survey is organized by Arleone Dibbon-Young, a Molokai-based wildlife biologist. She has been instrumental in not only protecting the endangered Nene population on Molokai, she has also compiled years of data on Molokai’s avian population and has a wealth of knowledge regarding Molokai’s history.…

Subsistence Fishing Designation Moves Forward

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Subsistence Fishing Designation Moves Forward

 

Community members are joining with state officials to develop a designation for Molokai’s north shoreline that would sustainably support marine resources, protect traditional fishing practices, prohibit commercial harvest and facilitate community involvement in resource management decisions.

The Mo`omomi Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) would extend from Ilio Point on the northwestern tip of Molokai, east to Kaholaiki Bay, near Pelekunu Valley. As it is currently written, the CBSFA would follow the contours of the coastline and extend out one half mile. The Kawa`aloa Bay Protected Area is a subzone with the CBSFA, with a subset of rules specific to it.…

Judge Orders Hold on GE Enforcement

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

A federal judge in Honolulu has ordered a temporary hold on enforcement of the moratorium on genetically engineered crops passed by Maui County voters on Nov. 4. Last week, Monsanto and other parties filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, challenging the moratorium. Judge Barry Kurren granted Monsanto and other plaintiffs in the suit a temporary injunction until Dec. 5.

The county stated last week it was preparing to enforce the moratorium pending the Election Officer’s certification of election results, but the judge’s injunction will put a hold on enforcement until further court action.

Injunction is a court order for a party to do, or refrain from doing, specific acts.…

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

GMO Moratorium Survey Results

The MOM Hui News Release

Out of a total of 219 Molokai residents who participated in an online survey, 109, or 49.77 percent, are in support of a moratorium (temporary suspension) of all GE operations and practices within Maui County. The moratorium would last until an environmental and public health impact study is conducted and finds the proposed cultivation practices to be safe and harmless.  Of the total survey participants, 110, or 50.23 percent, were not in favor of this bill.

Chart courtesy of Mom Hui

One of those in favor shared that, “because of their history of contamination, collusion, coercion and endless greed for capital and control, companies like Monsanto cannot be trusted, and therefore independent studies need to be conducted to insure these practices taking place on our island are safe for its inhabitants and future inhabitants.”

Another individual argued that, “the State Constitution protects the public trust.…

10 Cent Flower

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

Puakenikeni or “10 cent flower” is a popular lei flower native to the South Pacific. A common forest tree in the Cook Islands, it can reach over 50 feet tall under ideal conditions. One specimen in Pu`unui on Oahu covered the entire side of a ma and pa store. There are many South Pacific legends connected to this plant, and flowers also used to perfume coconut oil.  It makes an excellent garden shrub, imparting its alluring fragrance throughout the yard and into the home.

Puakenikeni is a fast growing plant, and is efficient in taking up nutrients if adequately watered, Light fertilizing with a 10-30-10 or 10-20-20 type fertilizer is recommended, because over-fertilizing will create vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.…

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

GE Crop Debate Shakes Molokai

Photo by Edwin Mendija.

A single initiative on the November election ballot has the Molokai community in such a heated debate that “vote yes” and “vote no” only refer to one thing: whether or not the cultivation of all genetically engineered crops in Maui County should stop while studies are done examining effects on human health and the environment.

The “vote no” campaign opposes the initiative, highlighting the hundreds of jobs on the line that could be lost in Maui County if a moratorium on growing genetically engineered (GE) crops goes through. Supporters of the initiative say they don’t want farming practices they believe are detrimental to land and people to continue without a comprehensive, independent study completed.…

A New Invasive Species – Hala Scale

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

“Pala ka hala, momona ka wana” is a saying connecting activities on the land with those in the ocean. In this case, when the hala fruits are ripe, the sea urchin or wana is fat and ready to eat. Now, hala will need to overcome a new nemesis that may not allow its fruits to ripen.

In 1995, the Hala Scale was discovered in a shipment of hala plants from the South Pacific to Hana, Maui. From there, it quickly spread to other islands. It was recently confirmed on Molokai in Puko`o and is believed to have been on the island for more than five years.…

It’s Wedgie Season

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

It’s Wedgie Season

Nene O Molokai News Release

Drawing by Michael Furuya

October and November is fledging season for wedge-tailed shearwaters. “Wedgies,” as they are affectionately called by wildlife biologists, are part of a mixed flock of seabirds that commercial fishermen rely upon to locate schools of ahi and other marketable fish. Young birds fledge from burrows excavated into coastal cliffs to life at sea. The uau kani, or wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), is 17 inches in length from bill to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 38 inches. Adult birds leave coastal colonies at dawn to feed on fish and return after dark.…

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Nene o Molokai press release

This year marked the 17th annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest, and a kolea reported by Joe Kitagawa proved to be Molokai’s early bird, marking the beginning of the fall migration of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). At 11:21 a.m. on July 29, a kolea flushed from a pasture at the Kamakou Preserve. Joe wins 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 mph is more typical.…