Environment & Ecology

GMO March Saturday

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Moms on a Mission – Molokai News Release

Every Saturday during the month of March, thousands of individuals across Hawaii, have been marching to express their love for the land, the ocean, and their desire to protect them from genetically modified organisms (GMO) chemical testing and farming. Participants have included families with their children, local farmers, and advocates for food safety. Marches have already been held in Hale`iwa, Oahu (March 2), Kauai (March 9), Hawaii Island (March 16), and Maui (March 23) and the final march will take place here on Molokai on Saturday, March 30.

Supported by Hawaii SEED, Moms on a Mission – Molokai, Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, and Aloha `Aina, the Molokai march will focus on moving forward for a safer and healthier today and tomorrow for our keiki.…

Farming in the Shade

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Farming in the Shade

Along Hua`ai Road in Ho`olehua, there’s a wooded area grown over with weeds and bushes. This area is disguised as a simple, unkempt forest, but within it lays a flourishing garden of fruits and vegetables, all growing in the shade.

Molokai resident Joe Kennedy is the man behind the food forest. He began planting crops there last March, and a year later he has healthy, productive plants that use each other for support and protection. Avocado, taro and spinach are just a few of Kennedy’s crops. He founded the forest based on the idea of permaculture, a conservation theory that reflects his own love for the earth and a desire to preserve the land for future generations.…

Fighting Fire to Save Coral

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Fighting Fire to Save Coral

A wildfire blazed across the south slope from Kalamaula to Kawela in 1998. It took over two hours for the first helicopter to respond. There was no command center and no unified radio communication. The fire claimed 15,000 acres of land.

A fire broke out in the same area 11 years later. The first helicopter responded in 40 minutes. There was an effective command center and communication through a single radio system. That fire burnt 8,000 acres of land.

The difference between the fires – the difference that saved 7,000 acres of mountainside – was the Molokai Fire Task Force, an organization of various agencies and groups with a unified mission to prevent and control fires.…

FoodCorps Seeks Volunteers

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

FoodCorps Seeks Volunteers

FoodCorps News Release

The national FoodCorps is recruiting service members throughout Hawai‘i who are passionate about healthy food, farms and kids to help connect our keiki to real food and help them grow up healthy. Sust `aina ble Molokai, the grassroots community organization that educates keiki to bring back Molokai’s legacy of `aina momona, will be a service site for two members.

FoodCorps, a national organization addressing childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, operates in 12 states and will add Hawai`i, California and New Jersey this year. The Kohala Center will be the Hawai`i host site.

FoodCorps is accepting applications for its third class of service members and is seeking to hire ten service members in Hawai‘i.…

State of the County Address

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The following is Mayor Alan Arakawa’s state of the county address, which he delivered February 20 at the Baldwin High School Auditorium at 5 p.m. Check back soon for some comments from Mayor Arakawa about Molokai specifically. 


Aloha and good evening.

Please join me in giving Mr. Dean Wong a round of applause. He had some large shoes to fill in taking over emcee duties this year and he’s done a fine job.

Our last two State of the County events were emceed by the late

Martin Luna, a friend to this administration and our community.

Of course it is impossible not to think of Martin now as we begin tonight.…

Plant and Bird Life Rebounds on Molokai

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Plant and Bird Life Rebounds on Molokai

The Nature Conservancy News Release

Fragile sand dunes of Moʻomomi on Molokai, once overrun with alien kiawe thickets, are blooming with new native growth.

A 14-year passive restoration program by The Nature Conservancy and the Molokai Land Trust is letting the blue blossoms of paʻu o Hiʻiaka and the yellow flowers of  ʻilima bloom amid the spiky native ʻaki ʻaki and shimmering hinahina. These blossoms are on dunes that once held single-species thickets of kiawe, a legume brought to Hawai`i to support cattle ranching.

“Kiawe transforms the ecosystem,” said Russell Kallstrom, graphical information system coordinator for the Conservancy’s Molokaʻi Program. “It forms dense thickets.…

NOAA Proposal Aims to Save Coral

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

NOAA Proposal Aims to Save Coral

The south shore of Molokai boasts one of the largest fringing coral reefs in Hawaii, providing a home for fish, a draw for tourism, shelter from ocean storms, and sustenance for the local economy. Coral is fragile, though, and biologists fear these valuable organisms could be extinct by the year 2100. This is why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed to list 66 species of coral as endangered or threatened, an action that could protect the island’s reef.

Of the 66 species that NOAA may soon list as threatened or endangered, three exist in Hawaii, and two – montipora patula and montipora flabellata– call the Molokai area home.…

Mac Poepoe Gets Conservation Award

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Mac Poepoe Gets Conservation Award

Uncle Mac Poepoe has spent a lifetime putting traditional fishing practices and resource management into action on Molokai’s northern coast. And for that, he was honored last week with the 2013 Umu Kai Award. Established in 2008 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region, the award recognizes Native Hawaiian practitioners’ contributions to modern fisheries conservation.

As a fisherman and educator, Poepoe’s goal is to pass on to youth what he calls “Hawaiian science” — or “the stuff we observe.”

“Ultimately, our success will be determined by the next generation,” said Poepoe. “It’s not about what degree you have but what you teach [youth].”

Poepoe’s efforts in the Mo`momi area have become a statewide example of the success of traditional management practices.…

Land Trust Ownership of Mokio Preserve Finalized

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Land Trust Ownership of Mokio Preserve Finalized


Molokai Land Trust News Release

Molokai Land Trust (MLT) has received the deed to Mokio Preserve, 1,719 acres of some of the most pristine and environmentally sensitive land on Molokai. The land was gifted by Molokai Properties Limited (MPL), also known as Molokai Ranch, in April 2008.

Mokio stretches along the north shore of Molokai between Mo`omomi Preserve boundary and the state’s Ilio Point parcel. The preserve encompasses five miles of remote and rugged coastline, with significant subsistence gathering areas and an extensive tidal pool system. The area has numerous koa or fishing shrines intact with offerings, as well as large ancient adze quarries.…

Nominate a Big Tree

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Nominate a Big Tree

DLNR News Release

Do you know of a tree you’ve always thought was special? Now’s the opportunity to recognize it by nominating it for the National Big Trees Competition. Anyone can nominate a native or culturally important tree from 21 currently-eligible species in Hawaii. Last year, two coconut trees at Molokai’s Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park were among six trees in the state that gained national titles.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) invites the public to help Hawaii compete in American Forests’ National Big Tree Program. The Big Tree Program seeks the largest trees of their species in the U.S.…