Environment & Ecology

Drawing a Seabird Map

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Drawing a Seabird Map

 

Molokai’s high elevation forests are full of secrets, surprises and rare, native species. Thought to be extinct on Molokai until recently, the endangered Newell’s shearwater, or ‘A’o, is a seabird that may also nest deep in the shelter of Molokai’s forest.

Right now, though, no one knows for sure.

Molokai is home to many native and endangered seabird species but biologists aren’t sure how many or where many of them are nesting. A new mapping project seeks to shed light on the state’s seabird population and represents the first comprehensive survey of Hawaii seabirds to date. Anticipated to last three years, the project is kicking off on Molokai this summer.…

Coqui Frog Found on Molokai Again

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

MoMISC News Release

On Wednesday, June 20, Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) staff responded to a report from a private residence of a possible coqui frog and confirmed that it was coqui. Coqui frogs in Hawaii are highly invasive and have negative impacts to human health and our environment. MoMISC has responded to 121 reports of possible coqui over the years and out of that, the organization has controlled seven frogs total, preventing a naturalized population.

Coqui frogs are spread primarily by people. There are many pathways by which coqui frogs get to Molokai. In 2001, a coqui frog arrived in shipment of plants for resale from a nursery outside Molokai.…

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Monk Seal Killed at Mo’omomi

Last month, a young female Hawaiian monk seal was killed at Kawa’aloa Bay at  Mo’omomi, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The yearling seal, identified as RJ42, was found dead by community members on May 31. An investigation is underway so details of the cause of death cannot be released, but a post-mortem examination conducted by NOAA on June 1 indicated it was an intentional act.

“[The] injuries were purposely inflicted by a person(s) that caused a significant amount of trauma resulting in the monk seal’s death,” a NOAA statement said.

This is the sixth suspected monk seal killing on Molokai, and third at Mo’omomi, since 2009, according to NOAA.…

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Drawing the Line on Sea Level Rise

By Audrey Newman, Community Reporter

A team of committed students, teachers and community members participated in the statewide Blue Line Project to “draw the line on climate change” and raise community awareness of sea level rise projections for Molokai last Saturday.   Sust`aina ble Molokai helped volunteers create a temporary blue line of ocean images and climate change messages along Kamehameha V Highway in front of Duke Maliu Regional Park to show the area vulnerable to permanent flooding in the next 40 years.  

“We chalked in a blue line to show where the new shoreline will be if we don’t take drastic measures [to address] climate change, sea level rise, and carbon emissions,” explained Vicki Newberry, team leader for Aka`ula School. 

The blue line is based on the 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, which estimates one meter (3.2 foot) increase in sea level.  Projections for the entire Molokai coastline can be viewed at pacioos.hawaii.edu/shoreline/slr-hawaii/.  Seventeen communities across Hawaii joined this Earth Day event, organized by the Blue Planet Foundation with local partners, to send a clear message from Hawaii that everyone across the globe must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels. Look in future issues of The Molokai Dispatch for more information on how climate change and sea level rise will affect Molokai.…

Proposed Forest Reserve Rules

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

DLNR News Release

In light of evolving natural resource concerns and the needs of managers and people, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is proposing updates to rules regulating activities within Hawaii’s Forest Reserve System.  DOFAW is now inviting input and comments. 

The Forest Reserve System consists of 55 reserves across the state covering approximately 678,000 acres.  Regulations for the system were first established in 1943 and the last comprehensive update was in 1993. Proposed changes and updates will allow DLNR to streamline and clarify existing rules, improve enforceability, and update allowed uses and activities based on conditions currently facing the forests and their users.…

Kawa`aloa Beach Cleanup

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Kawa`aloa Beach Cleanup

TNC News Release

The call went out on social media and 104 volunteers responded, removing 20 truckloads of marine debris at a Nature Conservancy (TNC) beach cleanup on Molokai.

Kawa`aloa Beach on the island’s northwest coast was the site of the cleanup, which took place on Jan. 13, the morning of the false North Korean missile alert.

The remote, crescent-shaped beach lies adjacent to the Conservancy’s Mo`omomi Preserve and is a hotspot for ocean debris that washes up on shore.  The debris includes plastic bottles and bags, rope, buoys, tires and cargo nets, among other items.

“We cleaned the beach for the turtles,” said Wailana Moses, TNC’s Molokai coordinator for the event.…

Molokai Couple Publishes Children’s Book

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Molokai Couple Publishes Children’s Book

A husband and wife team from Molokai took on the task of creating their own children’s book to fill a void they discovered as parents. “Haloa the Little Huli,” written by Kananikala Bishaw-Juario and illustrated by Kyle Ikaika Bishaw-Juario, was written to help teach local children about the process of making poi.

“We actually wrote the story to teach our kids’ preschool [class] how to make poi,” said Kananikala. “I couldn’t find a book that would catch their attention, so I started writing this book just to show them what other kinds of plants we have in Hawaii and what we use them for.…

`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.…