Environment & Ecology

Whale Tales

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Whale Tales

A new, life-sized replica of a humpback whale tail at Molokai Fish and Dive is making a splash with local elementary school students. Last Tuesday, the ocean tour and gas business hosted a much younger crowd than usual at their shop. Preschoolers from Kaunakakai Elementary School stopped by to admire the work of art and learn more about the majestic creatures that live just off shore.

Making its appearance about a month ago, the tail has quickly become a landmark — and with good reason. A whale’s tail is composed of two lobes, each of which is called a fluke. Constructed by a local artist to accurately represent the size, texture and color of the real thing, the tail in front of Fish and Dive measures 14 feet across its flukes, with whale tails in the wild spanning up to 16 feet.…

New Pavilion for Coconut Grove

Friday, May 17th, 2013

New Pavilion for Coconut Grove

Each weekend, community members and organizations host gatherings at the pavilion of Kiowea Park, causing a strain on the building built half a century ago. Kalama`ula homesteaders are trying to ease that strain by building a second, larger pavilion with updated facilities in the park, which is located in the Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove area.

There could soon be another pavilion in addition to the current one at Kiowea park.

County councilmember Stacy Crivello presented the plan for the new pavilion to the Molokai Planning Commission for comments May 8. As a Kalama`ula homesteader, she is acting as a project coordinator for the new facility.…

Maximum Protection, Minimal Change at Papohaku

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Maximum Protection, Minimal Change at Papohaku


Papohaku sand dunes protect the water from runoff and nearby homes from high tide swells. Now the system that guards so much could receive some protection from human threats. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) proposed increased protection for the Papohaku dune system. While the changes will not likely bring enforcement of stricter development rules, officials said they hope the protection would raise awareness of the dunes’ value.

Red dirt flows into the ocean where dunes were demolished on the west end of Molokai.
Photo contributed by Arleone Dibben-Young

A 500-page document dedicated solely to the preservation of the dune system at Papohaku stresses the environmental and cultural value of the system.…

Big Funds for Organizations Making a Big Difference

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Big Funds for Organizations Making a Big Difference


Two Molokai nonprofit organizations have support to “pay it forward” in the community using awards from the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA). Ka Honua Momona (KHM) and Kukui Ahi Patient Program at Molokai General Hospital each received $10,000 from HMSA as part of the health care coverage provider’s 75th anniversary celebration.

HMSA employees chose 10 organizations statewide to receive $10,000 each to make a difference in their communities, according to a press release about the HMSA Pays It Forward campaign.

“Our employees wanted to find a way to really stretch this gift and I’m confident this concept of paying it forward will accomplish that,” said HMSA CEO Michael Gold.…

Increased Protection of Papohaku Dunes

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

DLNR News Release
The Papohaku Dune System in west Molokai has been identified as an important natural and cultural resource of the State of Hawaii. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) will hold a public hearing on Molokai on May 10 regarding a proposed subzone amendment to increase the level of protection for the dune system.

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10 at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center.

OCCL is proposing to change the state land use conservation district subzone of tax map key (TMK): (2) 5-1-006:156 at Papohaku Beach, Kaluakoi, from the general subzone to the protective subzone.…

CFL Bulb Recycling Protocol

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

CFL Bulb Recycling Protocol

Blue Planet & Sust `aina ble Molokai News Release

Over the past two years, Molokai residents who have participated in the “Go Green and Carbon Clean” program organized by Blue Planet Foundation and Sust `aina ble Molokai have been benefiting from the energy savings of highly efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, which use 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

The nearly 40,000 bulbs installed in Molokai homes today represent an important first step in moving the island toward energy self-sufficiency. The project’s success was made possible by the collaborative efforts of students, teachers, businesses, and community leaders.

Blue Planet Foundation and Sust `aina ble Molokai want to ensure that the community is aware of the proper usage and disposal recommendations for CFLs.…

Changes to Wildlife Rules

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Changes to Wildlife Rules

Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is working to protect watersheds, native species and agriculture with proposed amendments to their administrative rules. The rule changes aim to prohibit the transport and release of introduced invasive wildlife, including mongoose, ants, snakes and ungulates, said Laura Goodmiller of DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

“Introduced species negatively affect Hawaii’s environment in a variety of ways, including predation and competition to indigenous species, damage to watersheds, the spread of pathogens and diseases, and threats to agriculture,” she said.

Under the proposed rule changes, transport and release of axis deer will be illegal.…

Kamakou: 30 Years of Preservation

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Kamakou: 30 Years of Preservation

High in the mountains of Molokai, nature and history grow together in a forest that echoes with the riches of ancient Hawaii. A narrow boardwalk trails through depths of vivid green. Drops of water rest upon leaves and moss, and stillness is interrupted only by the occasional bird or damsel fly.

The pepe`opae boardwalk runs through Kamakou Preserve

Kamakou Preserve appears to be effortlessly pristine, an abundance of native life remained untouched since ancient times. But the prese
rve as it appears today is a result of 30 years of human determination. It represents an effort to reverse the effects of invasive species, restore native qualities and maintain a connection between culture and nature.…

Tradition of Adaptive Management

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Aha Kiole O Molokai

When it comes to the land and ocean, we are aware that laws have been created and maintained by the State of Hawaii, with the intent to help regulate the usage and continuity of the resources. It has become evident that the management system long-used in Hawaii has not served to keep Hawaii’s resources healthy and abundant. One of the key differences between our current state practices and traditional Hawaiian resource practices — and why the system of the past worked — is that each island and moku division based their management decisions on the environmental conditions of their own areas.…

Managing the North Shore

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Traditional fishing practices along Molokai’s north shore could soon be supported by law if a new proposal is approved by the state.

The Mo`omomi area, which provides food for Ho`olehua homesteaders through its ocean resources, is closer to receiving official state designation as a community-based subsistence fishing area (CBSFA). Conservation group Hui Malama O Mo`omomi organized the official proposal for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)  and has presented it at a series of meetings with fishermen, homesteaders and the public. After the group has allowed time to receive public comments and questions, they will present it to the DLNR at a public hearing.…