Sustainability

Beyond Big Wind: Molokai’s Energy Future

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

With the possibility of an industrial scale wind farm no longer hanging over the heads of many concerned Molokai residents, the community is now looking toward Molokai’s energy future. Many options are being discussed in a conversation that is including residents, land owners, state and county officials and other energy stakeholders.

Molokai residents pay among the highest electric rates in the nation, second only to Lanai. Those prices are due largely to the rising cost of fossil fuel used to produce electricity. The price of fuel so greatly impacts electric bills because more than 50 percent of each bill is made up of fuel costs, according to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).…

Leading the Charge Off Grid: Organization runs on solar and wind

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Leading the Charge Off Grid: Organization runs on solar and wind

Molokai’s first smart-grid electric system is now powering nonprofit Ka Honua Momona (KHM). The Ali`i fishpond’s new office is a milestone for the organization and the island, demonstrating how rural development can utilize wind and solar energy to create electricity.

The system is off-grid, meaning KHM provides all of their own power. With the help of eight large batteries, the nonprofit organization can remain completely independent from Maui Electric even during extended windless and overcast periods. It is also a smart system, prioritizing essential appliances and automatically switching to a backup generator when all else fails.

Molokai engineer Bruce Yamashita oversaw design of the project.…

Learn About Land Preservation Incentives

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Jean Brokish, Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council

The public is invited to attend a workshop exploring strategies and financial incentives to preserve and care for Hawaii’s agricultural lands on Thursday May 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the OHA conference room in Kaunakakai.

The Molokai Land Trust has been working with partners from around the state to bring this workshop to Molokai.

“This workshop will be of interest to landowners and people dedicated to caring for Molokai’s agricultural lands,” said Butch Haase, executive director for the land trust.

The morning session includes an overview of land preservation tools, including conservation easements and Important Ag Lands designation, and information on a variety of available funding sources. …

Hale Connects People to Land and Sea

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Hale Connects People to Land and Sea

At Ka Honua Momona (KHM) Ali`i fishpond, workers take breaks in the shade of a large traditional thatched hale, where it is cool even on the hottest days. Office workers can look out at the hale and 30-acre pond from the windows of the sustainable office building where administrative work supports KHM’s mission of sustainability.

KHM hasn’t always had these amenities. The office and hale are the newest addition to the Ali`i fishpond, which nine years ago was overgrown with mangrove and knee-deep in mud. Today, because of the efforts of staff and volunteers eager to preserve the site’s ancient heritage, the Ali`i and Kalakoeli fishponds serve as a place for learning, sharing and restoring.…

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.…

An Evening for the Earth

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

An Evening for the Earth

The community gathered at Mitchel Pauole Center Friday to explore Molokai’s natural wonders and celebrate the gifts of the `aina.  With information on conservation, plant life, wildfire prevention, clean energy and more, Molokai Earth Day featured an abundance of learning for keiki and adults. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has organized the annual event since 1995, and this year the organization recognized its 30th year on Molokai.

Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u (pictured here), Kualapu`u Charter School’s Hawaiian Language immersion program, kicked off the night, which included music, prizes and food.  TNC Molokai program manager Ed Misaki received the Malama Kuleana Honua Conservation Award for his 30 years of conservation through TNC, including Kamakou Preserve and the East Molokai Watershed Partnership.…

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.…

Feeding Molokai Sustainably

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Feeding Molokai Sustainably

Molokai used to be known as “Molokai `Aina Momona,” or the abundant land, for its plentiful food supply that fed a population many times its current size. Like much of the state, Molokai now imports most of the food found in its stores and restaurants — 98 percent, in fact.

But the food served on Molokai’s dinner tables is a different story. About 40 percent of food consumed comes from subsistence sources such as hunting, fishing, gathering and home grown fruits and vegetables, according to a 2012 study conducted by Sust `aina ble Molokai.

“[The high level of subsistence] means that if disaster hits, Molokai is actually better off than other islands even though food production is less [than other islands],” said Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust `aina ble Molokai.…