Environment & Ecology

Hikiola Goes Solar

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hikiola Goes Solar

ProVision Solar News Release

The Hikiola Cooperative in Ho`olehua has installed a 12-kilowatt grid-connected solar array that will provide almost all of the power needed to run the coop.  First organized in 1976 as a farm supply and marketing cooperative, Hikiola shifted to making supplies available to both farmer-members and the greater community.  Paying one of the highest rates for electricity in the nation (52 cents/kilowatt-hour this month), small businesses on Molokai have more than ample incentive to go solar electric.

“We are thrilled with the installation of the PV system,” said the Coop’s long-time manager Tina Tamanaha. “The use of alternative energy is a positive step in our mission to lower the cost of supplies for our agri-business patrons.”

Marco Mangelsdorf, President of ProVision Solar, and the installer of the Net Energy Metered photovoltaic system, noted that “with the abundant sunshine on this part of the island, the system should really crank out the solar kWhs. …

Kalaupapa Combats Climate Change

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Kalaupapa Combats Climate Change

Only one small population of ‘ihi (Portulaca villosa) exists along the crater rim – more plants are currently being introduced to the area in the hopes of increasing the number of populations and individuals to make the plant more resilient to climate change. Photo by Paul Hosten.

Although scientists cannot predict with absolute certainty the universal severity of climate change nor its impacts, the effects are threatening the country’s National Parks with significant risks and challenges. A recent study by the National Park Service (NPS) shows that any of the 289 National Parks, including Kalaupapa National Historic Park (KNHP) show that temperatures over the last 30 years are warmer now than they were in 1901..…

Wetland Classroom Goes High-Tech

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Wetland Classroom Goes High-Tech

Nene O Molokai News Release

Endangered Ae`o, the Hawaiian Stilt, hatched at the Koheo wetland.

The Monsanto Fund has awarded $8,000 to Nene O Molokai for its Wildlife Without Walls environmental educational program at the Koheo wetland. The funding will be used to purchase a laptop computer for field work at the wetland, enabling students to conduct onsite GIS (geographic information system) mapping of the on-going wetland restoration, and download water quality data collected with Pasco Probeware donated by the Center for Advanced Communications and Engineering at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Also included in the award is funding for the site’s operation and propagation supplies for the out-planting of native vegetation utilized culturally and agriculturally, and for endangered waterbird habitat enhancement.…

New Way to Look at Compost

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

There are a few ways of looking at making compost that some of my gardening friends have passed on to me over the years. Here’s just one. When you make compost with kitchen fruit and veggie scraps, you don’t have to do it the usual way the book talk about. There’s another very easy, very plant-enriching way to do it.

Just empty the scraps on the ground next to the fruit tree on any of the large veggie plants like collards, pumpkin or eggplant that you are growing. Then level the pile a little and make it an even thickness.…

Molokai Energy Assessment  

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust` aina ble Molokai has published the second piece in our Molokai-pedia project the Molokai Energy assessment. This assessment follows Agricultural Needs Assessment that helped to inform the needs in the community for food security and farmer economic security.

Due to  the information gathered, we are able  to pursue the development  of a Molokai Food hub  that will be able to help local farmers gain access to  local markets on island,  help our students  by gaining access  to local food through the cafeteria and eventually establishing off island markets for our farmers  long term economic security.…

Facing Climate Change, Part II

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Emillia Noordhoek

Editor’s Note: Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust`ainable Molokai, traveled to Europe to attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year. This is the second in a three-part series about the Panel’s conclusions and how global climate change will affect Molokai and the world.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met at the end of last year as a collaborative effort between countries, scientists and policy makers to address growing evidence of real and serious global climate change and discuss a report on the latest findings. The day after the IPCC was released, activists from Swedish environmental group, PUSH Sweden, organized a demonstration to bring attention to the report and the lack of action they felt was being presented by the Swedish government.…

Birds for Bishop Museum

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Birds for Bishop Museum

Arleone Dibben-Young preparing taxidermy birds for Bishop Museum. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Hawaii’s native bird population is in peril, with 23 birds already extinct and more than 30 of the state’s avian species in danger of becoming extinct, according to a federal report.

However, fossil and sub-fossil discoveries and collections of specimens are providing a wealth of information that may save the birds. The first fossil findings took place on Molokai over 40 years ago, putting the island at the forefront of action and bringing in notable inquisitive scientists.

“It took millions of years for these birds to come to Hawaii and evolve into amazing species and once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Molly Hagemann, the Bishop Museum’s vertebrate zoology collection manager.…

Monk Seal Births, Recovery Plan

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Monk Seal Births, Recovery Plan

Photo courtesy Eric Brown.

By Laura Pilz and Catherine Cluett

Even though youth of the human species aren’t permitted in Kalaupapa, babies of the Hawaiian Monk Seal persuasion are welcomed.  The peninsula has become one of the most popular spots for endangered monk seal births, with two so far this year.

According to Diane Pike, Molokai Response Coordinator for the Monk Seal Foundation, almost all of the monk seal births on Molokai occur in Kalaupapa. “Last year, we had 10 pups,” said Pike, “and all of them were born in Kalaupapa.”

Through tracking efforts, scientists have found that those females who come to give birth in Kalaupapa are not necessarily Molokai seals.…

Helping Out at Koheo Wetlands

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Helping Out at Koheo Wetlands

Aunty Arleone Dibben-Young holding the check presented by the Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u Papa 4

Community Contributed

By Kumu Loke Han, Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u

Students from Kumu Loke Han¢s fourth grade Hawaiian Language Immersion class at Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u are learning valuable lessons in kokua and laulima.

Back in November, the students visited Koheo wetlands in Kaunakakai as part of their studies on the `ahupua`a land system. They learned that wetlands are a vital component to the healthy ecosystem of our island. They learned about native plants and animals that help to sustain our native bird population. They also learned about invasive plants and animals and how destructive these introduced species can really be.…

Advocating for the `Aina

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Advocating for the `Aina

In celebration of Earth Day, hundreds of attendees, young and old, examined taxidermies of the endangered native Hawaiian duck, learned how to check plants for invasive fire ants using peanut butter, and pinpointed areas of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the most remote island archipelago in the world.

The community gathered at Molokai’s 22nd annual Earth Day festival at the Kaunakakai Ball Field last Friday evening to honor the values of aloha `aina and malama `aina. Kupuna Moses “Moke” Kim inspired island youth to malama `aina through the Hana Kupono program at Molokai High and Intermediate School. This year’s theme, “He Wa`a He Moku, He Moku He Wa`a; your canoe is like an island, an island is like your canoe,” is a testament to Kim’s mission to preserve Molokai’s natural and limited resources, according to event organizers.…