Water

What is so important about Molokai’s water situation?

East Slope Watershed Protection

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

East Slope Watershed Protection

East Slope Watershed Project map. Light green areas represent proposed East Slope land, dark green is zoned conservation, dotted yellow lines show proposed fence lines and red lines represent natural barriers (cliffs.) All land west of the East Slope area is already part of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership. Map courtesy Steph Dunbar-Co.

Planners, landowners, natural resource managers and community members are putting their heads together to protect one of Molokai’s most important resources — water. Many have noticed deterioration of native forests in recent years, especially on the east end, because of invasive species, and they say something needs to be done.…

Rising from the Rocks

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Rising from the Rocks

Native plants making a comeback

Editorial by Catherine Cluett

We’re bumping along a rocky track, ascending steeply through a landscape some would call lunar. Ahead of us is mostly gray—Kawela’s barren, stony slopes and gulches, topped by a thin line of green where the mountaintops meet the sky. But I can’t help turning in my seat of our all-terrain vehicle toward the view behind us—each bump expands a breathtaking panorama of Maui to the east, Lanai’s slender back, the turquoise fingers of Molokai’s south shore reef, and the slopes of Pu`u Nana to Molokai’s west.

Panorama from about 3,000 ft. elevation showing Maui on the left, Kaho`olawe, Lanai in the center, and Molokai’s south shore reef.…

Partnering for Preservation

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Partnering for Preservation

Protecting Molokai’s Watersheds

An understanding of the connections between mountains and ocean — mauka and makai — is rooted in ancient Hawaiian culture. Today, invasive species and human impacts are threatening to clog Molokai’s reef — the most extensive coral reef in the Main Hawaiian Islands — with sediment washed down from the mountain slopes. Today, scientists are doing studies to provide proof of this evidence and offer their data to help find solutions. And today, Molokai residents are meeting together to discuss those solutions and taking action to protect the island’s most valuable resources — both the mountains and the ocean.…

Weathering the Storms

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

 

A look at disaster planning on Molokai

Hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding – catastrophes like these can quickly go from bad to worse in a place as isolated as Molokai. In the midst of disaster, the island will rely first on its own – a small team of dedicated responders who are doing their best at planning for the worst.

When a tsunami hit Hawaii three years ago, 25 out of the 29 damage cases in Maui County were from Molokai, according to the Red Cross. Though these cases didn’t qualify as a disaster, the aftermath brings with it fear of what will carry Molokai through a time of need.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

Public Shoreline Management Meeting Friday

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Public Shoreline Management Meeting Friday

Community Contributed By Walter Ritte

On Friday March 29, Good Friday, an important meeting is being called by the Pala`au Moku of the Aha Kiole O Molokai. A “Shoreline Management Plan” from Ilio Point to Pelekunu on the north shore of Molokai will be presented.

Marchers, including a group of Molokai residents, gathered in Hilo for “March in March” on March 16.

The plan gives management powers of the shoreline resources to the community. Rules are needed in order to preserve the resources so our children and their children will be able to have free fish, limu, opihi, he`e, lobster, crabs, etc.…

Farming in the Shade

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Farming in the Shade

Joe Kennedy stands on his porch, surrounded by a food forest that has provided crops for seven years.

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.…