Environment & Ecology

Eyes on the Reef

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Cheryl Corbiell

On June 6, Darla White with DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) provided the first “Eyes of the Reef” (EOR) skills training on Molokai at Kulana `Oiwi to an enthusiastic crowd of Molokai residents.

The EOR training has been designed to help ocean users such as community members, reef users, fishers, and commercial operators the skills to provide reliable monitoring and reporting on coral bleaching; coral and fish diseases; Crown-of-thorns Sea stars outbreaks, marine alien invasive species, and native species blooms. The participants learned how to detect the early signs of coral in distress.

“Threats to the world’s reefs have increased by over 30 percent, and today, 75 percent of the coral reefs in the world are threatened,” said White. …

March of the Molokai Mangrove

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Nene O Molokai News Release

Introduced alien mangrove threatens the long-term sustainability of south shore coastal resources. During 2014 and 2015, Sarah Jenkins and Lily Jenkins conducted a study on the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of introduced Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) on Molokai. The intent was to determine if the mangrove has the potential to reach the fringing reef, and if so, what are the impending socioeconomic and ecological impacts.

Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used to interpret aerial imagery, historic maps, and coastal surveys to map seaward migration, analyze ecological effects, and predict the future impact on Molokai’s south shore through benthic habitat modeling.…

Tackling Invasive Algae

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Cheryl Corbiell

The Molokai Gorilla Ogo Survey and Control Project was launched on Saturday, June 6 at Kulana `Oiwi by master of ceremony and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Colette Machado. She was joined by 75 people with passion, knowledge and love for the reef and ocean. For five hours, participants learned about the threat and distribution of the invasive algae on Molokai’s south shore and what other communities have tackled gorilla ogo.

Over the last seven weeks, Machado has gathered seven project partners: Kua Aina Ulu Auamo, OHA, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Ke Kua`aina Hanauna Hou, and Kahina Pohaku Loko I`a.…

Concerns Grow Over Coconut Grove

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Concerns Grow Over Coconut Grove

Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove has stood for more than a century. However, recently residents have begun to notice the deteriorating health of the coconut trees. Scattered among the healthy palms are a number of dead trees, their tall trunks ending abruptly in leafless stubs. Not only are the lifeless trees an eyesore, but the cause of their death is an increasing concern within the community.

Last December, the Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) gathered fruit and leaf samples from the grove for testing, according to Lori Buchanan, field outreach coordinator for MoMISC. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) and UH College of Tropical Agriculture tested the samples and identified multiple pests and diseases.…

Albizzia, Friend or Foe

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

The first introduction of plants to Hawaii started with the arrival of Polynesians, who brought important food and utility plants to their new home. I remember noted Hawaiian botanist Isabella Abbott calling kukui an invasive species because it displaced many natives in valleys and mountainsides.

Over the last 240 years, thousands of plant species were introduced to create new economic opportunities as a western capitalist system replaced an ancient self-sufficient system. Today, most of the vegetation found below 2,000 feet, with the exception of a few isolated coastal systems, is introduced.…

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Secret Lives of Monk Seals

Scientists scan the beach for seals. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

A year and a half ago, scientists and community members wanting to learn more about endangered Hawaiian monk seals decided to try a new method of observation. Instead of continuing to speculate and make assumptions about the life and habits of monk seals – much of which happens under water – they decided to record it on video. Attaching satellite trackers and cameras known as “critter cams” to the backs of seals allows biologists, students and the public to gain insight into the largely obscured life of this endemic sea mammal.…

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Mama-T and Tubby Love were some of the night’s performers. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Last Saturday’s third annual Grassroots Benefit Concert at Duke Maliu Park celebrated homegrown, all-natural products –and the creatures that make it possible. The event’s message was “Mahalo i Na Halihali `Ehu Pua,” which means Thank You to the Pollinators, and highlighted the need to protect pollen-carrying creatures like butterflies and bees.

“Pollinators are vital to growing food, and we want to just bring that issue to light,” said Mercy Ritte, one of the event organizers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Pathologist Matthew Goo said that butterflies face the predatory challenges of spiders, wasps, lizards and in particular, the bulbul bird.…

Record Roi Round-Up

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Record Roi Round-Up

Divers harvested over 1,000 pounds of invasive roi in the island’s second annual tournament. Photo courtesy of Dicky Dowling.

Molokai divers joined forces last month for a cause – to save native fish species by ridding the island of about 1,000 pounds of invasive roi.

“Nowadays everyone is about malama this, malama that. This is really giving back to the reef,” said local diver Dicky Dowling, who organized the second annual Molokai Roi Tournament. “That’s the most invasive species… Somebody gotta do something, you cannot just stand on the side.”

In the 1950s, the Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife introduced roi as a game fish for food.…

Agroforestry Workshop

Friday, March 13th, 2015

UH CTAHR News Release

What is Agroforestry? Combining agriculture and forestry is nothing new, and has been practiced for centuries by the ancients, who practiced growing plants vital to their survival in forests while also enhancing what was already there. The Hawaiian garden is one example, with trees and plants that serve our food, fiber, medicinal, cultural, and construction needs in a sustainable system that continues to feed itself, including us.

March 21 is the first day of spring, and what better way to celebrate this special day than to learn about agroforestry concepts and applications on Molokai. Speakers include Craig Elevitch, Alton Arakaki, Fred Richardson, and another off-island speaker.…

Bottles for Change Campaign

Friday, January 30th, 2015

HoloHI News Release

A Hawaii educator plans to run and bike 750 miles around Hawaii in 31 days to launch school-based conservation initiative called Bottles for Change that challenges keiki to help reduce Hawaii’s plastic footprint.

A new study estimates that there are more than 250,000 tons of plastic floating in oceans around the world, destroying marine habitat and contaminating our water and food supply. Lindy Shapiro, founder of the nonprofit Bodhi Education Project on Maui, plans to take an unprecedented, coastal expedition around the Hawaiian Islands named holoHI (the Hawaiian word “holo” means to run or ride on) – kicked off before sunrise on Jan.…