Environment & Ecology

`Aha Moku Advisory Seeks Feedback

Friday, November 20th, 2015

DLNR News Release

The `Aha Moku Advisory Committee (AMAC) has scheduled a series of public meetings this month to seek comment from communities in `ahupua`a districts as it develops and adopts rules for its operation and administration.

Created by the Legislature in 2012 via Act 288, the `Aha Moku Advisory Committee is attached to the State Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and is mandated to bring the voices of the `ahupua`a communities forward to the Department on issues related to natural and cultural resources.

“AMAC may advise the DLNR on issues related to land and natural resources management through the ‘Aha Moku system of best management practices,” said Leimana DaMate, AMAC executive director.…

Rule Proposed to Protect Sea Cucumbers

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

After a commercial operation was discovered overharvesting sea cucumbers earlier this year, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking to regulate the catch and consumption of the marine creature throughout the state.

Previously, there were “no rules at all” protecting sea cucumbers, which serve an important purpose in the ocean, said Russell Sparks, aquatic biologist with the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).

“The … thing that concerned us is the role these animals play on the reef,” Sparks explained. “They’re kinda like earthworms on land. They gotta turn the sediments over and clean it.”

Last week DLNR officials held a public hearing on Molokai to discuss proposed regulations with community members.…

Biochar for Molokai

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

Josiah Hunt of Pacific Biochar is the mover and shaker in the use of biochar in Hawaii and other areas of the world, and will be presenting a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm located in the Molokai Agricultural Park.

Although the word “biochar” may be new, the idea of using charcoal for food production is not new. In the Amazon Basin, unearthed areas have been found to contain layers of biochar that enriched the poor soils of these high rainfall regions. High rainfall in the tropics can leach or wash away key nutrients, especially bases such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, key elements for optimal plant growth, and these conditions are found in high rainfall areas of Molokai.…

Butterflies Are Back

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Friends of Molokai Library News Release

If you checked the Butterfly Garden at the Library this summer, you may have noticed that there weren’t any Monarchs flying around.  It turns out that there is a Monarch “season” in Hawaii… who knew?

According to the Butterfly Society of Hawaii, the season is approximately October to May.  But we are seeing caterpillars on the crown flower, and Monarchs and Lesser Grass Blues feeding on the milkweed, rattlepod, balloon plant and sun drop plants.

In our home garden, we also have the Gulf Fritillary, Citrus Swallowtail, Large Orange Sulphur and Cabbage butterflies back.  The Fritillary is about the same color at the Monarch, but the flight pattern is much different.  …

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Nene O Molokai press release

Photo by Michael Walther.

Koloma Smith reported the return of the kolea at Kilohana School at 10 a.m. on Aug. 6, marking the beginning of the fall migration of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). Koloma won the 18th annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest and earned a Kolea Research Hawaii T-shirt from the Hawaii Audubon Society and a gift certificate for one scoop of ice cream at Kamoi Snack-N-Go.

The kolea is a swift flying shorebird and has been clocked migrating at 118 miles per hour, although an average of 56 to 60 miles miles per hour is more typical.…

Taro Field Day to Host Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai and UH Cooperative Extension Service News Release

The Molokai Taro Variety Field Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual event has been organized by the UH Cooperative Extension Service since 1985, and is something that many residents look forward to. This year promises to be another outstanding event.

An important highlight of this year’s Taro Day is The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition. This year, Molokai has been selected to host the competition, which is held annually at selected sites around the Pae `Aina in honor of Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Na`ea Rooke, who recognized the value of the Hawaiian taro varieties and has written in detail on methods she used to produce large kalo (taro).…

Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove Access

Friday, September 11th, 2015

DHHL News Release

The kupuna of Kalamaula made it clear to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) that Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove is sacred and not a place for recreation.  Following community meetings, it was decided that this significant wahipana (historic site) needed to be better cared for and protected.

DHHL consulted the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources because the agency has jurisdiction over historic sites and obtained authorization to clean and fence Kapuaiwa.  DHHL requests beneficiaries and members of the general public to respect the sacredness of Kapuaiwa while efforts are ongoing to work with the Department of Agriculture to continue diagnose/monitor the health of the trees so future decisions may be made about their well-being.…

Join Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii News Release

For the second year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) is hosting the Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup and Community Service Project on Molokai on Saturday, Aug. 1. Sponsored by Matson, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Parley for the Oceans, this cleanup removes harmful marine debris from one of the most remote beaches on Molokai. Mo`omomi Beach, a mix of rocky and sandy coastline on the island’s north shore, is the first stopping point in the main Hawaiian Islands for marine debris coming from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“Each Hawaiian Island has issues with marine debris but Molokai gets hit extra hard due to its open geography towards the north,” says Kahi Pacarro, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s co-founder and executive director.…

Mapping a Marine Menace

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Mapping a Marine Menace


Volunteers document patches of gorilla ogo near Alii Fishpond. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Armed with GPS units, yardsticks and clipboards, Molokai volunteers and Oahu scientists spent three days last week peering into the island’s shallow south shore waters, looking for an invasive alien algae known as gorilla ogo.

The migrating algae, subject to wind and tides, has settled into Molokai waters and is threatening reef life.

“It can just take over an entire area and become the dominant species,” said Brian Neilson, aquatic invasive species biologist for the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).  “It overcrowds native limu, and it can grow over coral colonies and smother and kill coral.”

Before any removal efforts can begin, however, residents needed to identify the areas of the shoreline most under siege.…

Community Meeting For Proposed Waikolu-Pu`u Ali`i Fence Project

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

DLNR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)  invites the  Molokai community and interested parties to an informational meeting concerning a proposed fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve areas.  The purpose of the proposed project is to protect the natural resources of the Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) while improving hunting opportunities within the Molokai Forest Reserve hunting units.  The fence will help to prevent entry of pigs, goats and deer into the NAR and help to prevent erosion into nearshore waters, protect fisheries and water supplies, and conserve native Hawaiian plants and wildlife.…