Environment & Ecology

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.…

Rhinoceros Beetle Huge Threat

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

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

It moved around undetected for almost two years before it was found through a routine survey by University of Hawaii and USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-PPQ) officials. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) is one of the largest beetles to invade Hawaii and was discovered in an area surrounding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. By that time, it was found in a one mile radius around the base. Red flags were raised in 2007 when it was first found in Guam, an island half the size of Molokai where a major U.S.…

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Caring for Kalaupapa’s Cats

This cat, Spyder, is one of the many felines that make their home in Kalaupapa. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Feral cats living on the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula have become an attribute of the settlement, welcoming visitors and providing companionship for residents by lingering around homes and community buildings. But as the numbers of ferals continue to rise, gathering in colonies of 20 to 30 cats, it creates an environmental hazard to the settlement, according to National Park Service workers.

“In the last few months, a couple people have moved out and the cat colonies [they were feeding] have been abandoned,” said Paul Hosten, a terrestrial ecologist for the National Park Service.“…The health of those cats deteriorates and so they pick up diseases, they fight, they spread illnesses like cat leukemia and the problem becomes a health concern.”

According to Hosten, the settlement has experienced flea outbreaks and odor problems in the last year.…

Hundreds Testify on GMO and Pesticide Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than 100 Molokai residents sat all day outside Molokai’s county offices last Tuesday, waiting to testify on a proposed Maui County bill aimed at regulating pesticide use and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

As currently written, the bill would establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies using certain quantities of pesticides, create buffer zones around schools, other public areas and bodies of water, and require public notification before pesticide applications. It also calls for the county to complete studies on the possible environmental and health impacts of large-scale agricultural companies that use pesticides and GMOs.

Introduced by Maui Council Member Elle Cochran, the bill resembles one passed into law on Kauai in November.…