Environment & Ecology

Discuss Molokai Water Use and Demand

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Townscape News Release

Learn about Preliminary Water Use and Demand for Molokai’s water systems. At two meetings open to Molokai residents, we will be presenting water use information for public and private water systems on the island, our methodology for projecting future water demand, and sharing our preliminary water demand projections. The Molokai Water Use and Development Plan is being updated by a collaboration between Townscape, Inc., an environmental and community planning company, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply, Water Resources and Planning Division.

We will offer this presentation at two different meeting times. Our presentation will be the same at each meeting, and open discussion time will follow the presentation.…

Moli Checks Out Molokai

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Moli Checks Out Molokai

Last month, Molokai Land Trust’s Anapuka site had a special visitor: a Moli, or Layson Albatross, that landed several times in the area. It’s the first documented landing of the species at the Molokai site since 2017 – and it’s viewed as an auspicious sign that the Moli may be making a home at Anapuka in the next few years.

The Moli landed at the organization’s “social attraction site,” which features decoy Moli in an effort to attract the real birds to the area. The decoys have now showed success, along with Molokai Land Trust’s work to restore the Anapuka dune ecosystem, remove invasive species, repopulate native plants and install predator-proof fencing to create a safe haven for Moli and other ground-nesting seabirds, according to MLT Executive Director Butch Haase.…

Deer Overpopulation, Rainfall Impact Molokai’s Landscapes

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Deer Overpopulation, Rainfall Impact Molokai’s Landscapes

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

It’s no surprise to many Molokai residents that the island is overrun with axis deer. Recent footage from a helicopter during an aerial survey of Molokai by Dept. of Land and Natural Resources staff captured massive herds of deer moving across the land like tiny ants, confirming the environmental damage being done by overpopulation of the nonnative species. 

“Cattle ranchers have been the hardest hit,” Molokai’s James Espaniola, a Forestry and Wildlife Technician with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) said, as he pointed out the helicopter at barren ground. “They do their part in rotating the use of pasture lands to prevent overgrazing by moving their cows around.…

He’e and Mahina Malama the Ocean in New Book

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

He’e and Mahina Malama the Ocean in New Book

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A new children’s book written on Molokai uses poignant rhymes, beautiful illustrations, Hawaiian culture and a little bit of magic to help keiki find a solution to marine debris and plastic pollution. “No More Plastic in the Ocean!” written by Lavinia Currier, steward and one of the family owners of Pu’u O Hoku Ranch, was inspired by spending many mornings on Halawa Beach with her grandson, picking up trash washed up on the shoreline. 

“As Many people on Molokai noticed, the amount of plastic washing up on the beach was increasing about 10 years ago… we started seeing a lot of industrial and fishing plastics,” said Currier.…

Inspiring Eco-Champions

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Inspiring Eco-Champions

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Over the last year, students from Kualapu’u and Kaunakakai schools in grades four through six showcased coastal ecosystems, climate change, stewardship suggestions and a strong sense of place through digital storytelling. Participating in a program called Champions of Coastal Resilience (CCR), the students learned virtually about Molokai’s coastline areas, creating short video snapshots of a place that’s important to them and their ‘ohana. CCR was funded as part of the 21st Century afterschool program and since COVID, students worked independently to produce their educational videos. Last week, families, students and supporters of the program gathered for the first in-person CCR Film Festival held at Lanikeha to view the students’ work, which was also livestreamed on Zoom. …

Molokai’s Kākāwahie: A Lost Species

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Blazing orange feathers flash among ‘ohia foliage of Molokai’s lower forests. The bird’s “chip chip chip” call is punctuated with its beak tapping on branches looking for insects, which it also finds deep within liko lehua, or buds. 

This is the kākāwahie, or Molokai creeper, an endemic bird found only on Molokai. But it isn’t a sight or sound we can ever experience. The kākāwahie hasn’t been seen since 1963, and it’s about to be declared extinct.

“It has been such a long time since the kākāwahie graced the lowland forests of Molokai that perhaps no one in living memory can say what the bird looked like, or recall its song,” said Sam Gon, a scientist and cultural practitioner at The Nature Conservancy Hawaii.…

Sea Level Rise Adaptation Workshops This Week

Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Sust’ainable Molokai News Release

Don’t forget to join a walk-thru, COVID-friendly, workshop in your moku (district) to see firsthand Molokai’s maps forecasting areas that will be inundated from rising seas! The sea level is expected to rise approximately 4.07 feet in Hawaii before the end of 2100 if we continue to operate business as usual. Sust’ainable Molokai is leading the planning process to ensure that our community is prepared to adapt to this already occurring and ongoing change.

Molokai is the first island in the County to develop a plan for the effects of sea level rise — the Molokai Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise Adaptation and Resiliency Master Plan.…

Nonprofit Works to Restore ‘Aina

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

‘Aina Momona News Release

Aloha Molokai, we are ʻAina Momona, a Native Hawaiian nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of achieving environmental health and sustainability through restoring social justice and Hawaiian sovereignty. Our team of kiaʻi are committed to restoring Molokai ʻAina Momona. 

We are advised by a board of exceptional Native Hawaiians who work in concert with our staff on the ground. Our board members include Dr. Jon Osorio, Dr. Trisha Kehaulani Watson, and Molokai’s own, Dr. Keoni Kauwe, among others. Dr. Kauwe is a graduate of Molokai High and Intermediate (ʻ96) and recently became the eleventh president of Brigham Young University — Hawaii and the first of Native Hawaiian descent.…

Sea Level Rise Walk-Thru Workshop

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Sust’ainable Molokai News Release

If you care about using our coastal roads, surfing, eating kole, ʻoio, limu, and going to the grocery stores in Kaunakakai, sea level rise affects you!

The sea level is expected to rise approximately 4.07 feet in Hawaii before the end of 2100 if we continue to operate business as usual. Large parts of Kaunakakai town will be flooded with seawater, including major infrastructure. Sust’ainable Molokai is leading the planning process to ensure that our community is prepared to adapt to this already occurring and ongoing change.

Thanks to Maui County funding championed by Councilmember Rawlins-Fernandez, Molokai is the first island in the County with the opportunity to develop a community-based plan to prepare for the effects of climate change — the Molokai Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise Adaptation and Resiliency Master Plan.…

Wet Season Outlook

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Wet Season Outlook

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

With the winter season approaching, weather forecasters have released predictions for how much rain we might see in the coming months. Kevin Kodama, a senior hydrologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Honolulu, said similar to last year, we may not see significant rain until January. With Molokai coming out of “exceptional drought” conditions over the summer, the island may not fully recover from drought before next dry season. 

Weather experts say this is the second year of La Nina conditions, which are marked by cool sea surface temperatures near the Equator – as distinct from El Nino, which has warm sea surface temperatures.…