By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter
Good news: it is going to rain more, at least according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) most recent predictions for this year’s wet season.
As Molokai residents know, a drought has persisted on the island, especially on the west and southwestern regions. While these areas of Molokai are currently rated as “severe to extreme drought,” recent rainfall “should result in some improvement,” according to Kevin Kodama , NOAA Senior Service Hydrologist at the Honolulu Forecast Office.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, a national metric of drought conditions, currently lists western portions of the island as D3 or “extreme drought,” the fourth of five levels of drought.…
By Paul Hanley | Community Reporter
“Our goal is to help increase our family’s and our island’s food security by inspiring others to start growing more of their own food,” says Fina Ka’auwai. Fina and her husband Wayne, who grew up living and working on farms on Molokai, are slowly increasing food production for their family of six on their one-acre plot in Ho’olehua.
In addition to hunting, fishing, and growing traditional crops, they have expanded into chickens, aquaculture, and “rainbow” fruits and vegetables. Part of their formula for success has been diversifying their diet. Their lush gardens are bursting with variety.…
By Jack Kiyonaga | Community Reporter
Starting Oct. 1, Maui County is banning the sale, usage and distribution of nonmineral sunscreen. Only sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients will be allowed. The ordinance, which was passed last year, is an effort to lead actions to protect reefs from environmental degradation. A historically significant move, this sunscreen ban is the first of its kind in the U.S.
The chemicals found in many mainstream sunscreens can wash off our bodies and into the ocean, causing bleaching to coral, decreased reproduction to fish and accumulation in the tissues of many kinds of marine life, according to scientists.…
By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
Five parcels in the Mākolelau ahupua’a of Molokai, totaling 1,045 acres, have been purchased for land conservation and restoration. The acquisition was made by DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), using funding from a $1.8 million grant from USFWS and more than $600,000 in private donations to TNC.
The area represents part of Molokai’s Sole Source Aquifer, designated by the State Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) as a Priority 1 Watershed, according to DLNR. The ahupua‘a’s higher elevations contain intact native forests, the protection of which contributes to generation of fresh water supplies and reduction of erosion that damages the South shore coral reefs. …
By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter
Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii brought their dedication to Molokai two weeks ago. With a small but impactful team, along with the partnership of community volunteers and local organizations, Molokai’s coastlines were able to breathe a bit freer of coastal pollution.
Rafael Bergstrom, executive director for Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, said the week was jam packed with marine debris removal. They collaborated with Pu‘u O Hoku Ranch, The Nature Conservancy, Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Kalaupapa National Historic Park for efforts along the east and north shores before heading to Mo’omomi on the northwest side. …
HDOA News Release
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer on Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At an Aug. 23 meeting, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (Board) approved the emergency loan program request by the Agricultural Loan Division. Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Supplementary proclamations have extended the relief period until Sept. 20. The emergency proclamations include provisions for relief from damages, losses and suffering caused by axis deer, which have decimated agricultural crops and pastural lands as they migrate to seek water and forage.…
By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
Nonprofits Sust’ainable Molokai and Sustainable Coastlines partnered together with community volunteers for a cleanup of invasive gorilla ogo seaweed at Kaunakakai Wharf last Saturday. Growing in thick mats, gorilla ogo chokes out native limu species, as well as killing coral and other sea life.
The effort brought about two dozen people to help with the cleanup. They identified the invasive limu, separated it from any native species growing with it, and bagged it for removal. They joined a growing number of regular volunteer efforts that have been successful in reducing the volume of ogo around the wharf area, which sometimes collects along the shoreline in massive quantities. …
By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
A young Hawaiian monk seal from Kalaupapa got critical surgery to remove a hook lodged in his throat and has been returned safely to the shores of the remote settlement.
The juvenile male seal, known as RP92, was spotted by National Park Service employees at Kalaupapa during a routine survey with fishing gear trailing from his mouth, according to NOAA Fisheries report.
“We consulted with response partners from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Marine Mammal Center, and NPS and determined that the seal was most likely suffering from an ingested hook,” stated the NOAA release.…
Hawaii ARES News Release
Calling all Molokai Amateur Radio operators or HAMS! On Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the Hawaii Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be hosting the Makani ‘Ino Hurricane Emergency Communications Drill.
Molokai residents are some of the most self-reliant people in the state. They have been cut off from each other many times in the past, from dangerous burning wildfires to flooding water, closing roads on the East End.
We also know that cell phone coverage is very limited as we drive around the island. Imagine what would happen if Molokai got hit by a hurricane? …
Sen. DeCoite News Release
In collaboration with State and County agencies, Senator Lynn DeCoite is once again working to provide the public with information and resources on who to contact regarding axis deer issues.
Injured and alive deer – Deer that have been injured, for example, by vehicle strikes and are still alive pose a threat to public safety. If a live injured deer is encountered, do not approach the animal. Immediately call:
During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Maui Branch Office (DOFAW) Molokai Office at (808)553-1745. After hours and weekends, call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) at (808) 873- 3990 or Maui Police Department Dispatch (MPD) at (808) 244-6400. DOFAW will immediately dispatch a trained specialist to secure and capture the animal safely.…