Environment & Ecology

21 Molokai Farms Get Ag Micro Grants

Thursday, April 1st, 2021

MEO News Release

Maui County’s $2.5 million Agricultural Micro Grants Program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity, purchased tractors, chippers and other supplies; put up fencing and sheds; and established an online presence for 105 small farms in the county – including 21 farms on Molokai.

With the program winding to a close, MEO Business Center Director David Daly said Monday, March 22, that his team is working on putting the finishing touches on the last couple of grants and the program.

The Agricultural Micro Grants Program was established to allow small Maui County farms to receive grants – up to $25,000 – that directly increase the availability of local produce, livestock, poultry and farm products while increasing agricultural capacity, productivity, name recognition and income.…

Shearwaters Return to Mokio

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

Shearwaters Return to Mokio

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

For the first time in years — maybe decades, maybe centuries, no one’s quite sure — fuzzy Uʻau kani, or Wedgetailed Shearwater, chicks hatched in the Anapuka area within Mokio Preserve. The successful nesting of the indigenous seabirds indicates that the past 12 years of work of the Molokai Land Trust is paying off and the native ecosystem is recovering, as crews clear acres of dense kiawe and remove deer, cats and mongoose.

Adult Uʻau kani have gray-brown and white feathers, a long, hooked beak and a wingspan of more than three feet. Clumsy on land, the birds live most of their lives on the wing at sea, and come onshore only to breed.…

$1.8M for Molokai Conservation Efforts

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Molokai is anticipated to have clearer oceans and reefs, less erosion and flooding, and protection from wildfires thanks to $1.8 million in federal funds that were just awarded to the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

The funding, through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), will pay for measures to protect Molokai’s forest ecosystems, like fencing for protection from hooved animals and creating firebreaks. The State of Hawaii is also matching the funds as part of a larger Watershed Initiative, directing an additional $2 million of state Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and operating funds to protect Molokai’s forests and provide jobs for Molokai residents, according to the DLNR.…

Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Coastline Cleanup Efforts

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Coastline Cleanup Efforts

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Despite the large annual Mo’omomi marine debris cleanup being cancelled this year due to the pandemic, a recent effort spearheaded by Hawaii nonprofit Sustainable Coastlines removed more than 25,000 pounds of trash from Molokai’s north shore. Using helicopters to airlift enormous sacks of rubbish from remote areas that had previously been collected, along with limited volunteer efforts to gather more debris, millions of pieces of plastic that had washed ashore will now be removed from the island and recycled or properly disposed of.

The effort represented a collaboration with Sustainable Coastlines, global clean ocean movement Parley, Windward Aviation, along with Molokai conservation organizations, Uncle Mac Poepoe, and a few local families.…

Every Kolea Counts

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Hawaii Audubon Society News Release

The Hawaii Audubon Society is conducting the first-ever statewide count of Kolea, or Pacific Golden-Plovers, inviting community members to help count. The last Oahu-only count was in 1968, estimating 15,173 Kolea. In 1992, researchers counted 1,902 Kolea on Oahu’s 28 (38 today) golf courses. Because no counts have been conducted since then, and never any statewide counts, no one knows if the Hawaii population is increasing, decreasing or stable.

Besides estimating Hawaii’s Kolea population, the Hawaii Audubon Society’s project aims to increase resident and visitor awareness and appreciation of these birds that nest in Alaska, and spend winters in Hawaii.…

Hawaii Sustainability Plan Update

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

HI Office of Planning News Release

Molokai residents wanting to participate in the State of Hawaii Office of Planning (OP) Statewide Sustainability Program will be able to do so in a series of virtual statewide Information Sharing Sessions to inform everyone about the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan (the Plan). The Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan is being updated and revised to serve as the State’s climate and sustainability strategic action plan.

“The people of the State of Hawaii have long understood the challenges of our finite resources and the importance of co-existing with our ʻaina,” said Gov. David Ige. “We are witnessing rising sea levels, temperature rise, and a decrease in precipitation; these climate change hazards require long-term sustainability planning to guide strategic implementation.”…

Brush Fire Burns 50 Acres Above Town

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Brush Fire Burns 50 Acres Above Town

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A brushfire above Ranch Camp in Kaunakakai burned about 50 acres Sunday afternoon.
Ranch Camp residents reported their homes filling with smoke but no houses were damaged or evacuated.

The Fire Dept. got the alarm at 3 p.m. and responded with three engine companies, two tankers, two helicopters, two callback crews, and two county and state tanker trucks. As of 5 p.m. Sunday, efforts to fully extinguish the blaze were ongoing but considered 70 percent contained, according to the Maui Fire Dept.

“Helicopters did a great job… was getting close to Kupa Place culdesac and everyone [was out] with their hoses and sprinklers,” resident P.J.…

Molokai Still Coqui and Little Fire Ant Free

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

MoMISC News Release

We hope everyone has heard of, read about or maybe even experienced first-hand, the impacts that coqui frogs and little fire ants (LFA) have had across our state. Maybe you know a farmer who has lost crops due to LFA infestation, or travelled to an area where the distinct and noisy call of coqui frog was heard from dusk to dawn? Perhaps you’ve seen stories in the media? Whatever your experience with these species, we at the Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) know that the introduction of either species would be devastating on Molokai.

Little fire ant is nearly impossible to exterminate once introduced and established at a new site.…

Online Atlas for Shoreline Access Launched

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Online Atlas for Shoreline Access Launched

County of Maui News Release

Exploring and enjoying Maui County’s beaches and shoreline areas has just been made easier. The County has recently launched a new website with a map viewer to provide an online atlas of over 200 public access locations and their features.

This shoreline access information is provided for all regions of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The website is also intended to provide a baseline for the management of shoreline access.

“This is a terrific tool for the public to enjoy our coastal resources and use our public beach accesses throughout the County,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “It was a great collaborative effort to bring this to fruition, and I thank everyone involved in launching this site.”…

Planning the Autumn Vegetable Garden

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

We grow a garden on Molokai for many reasons. For some, it’s about having ready access to the freshest, healthiest fruits and vegetables in these challenging times, while for others it’s about teaching our children how to grow food and enhance their appreciation for the bounties of our island.
As we leave the dog days of summer to a cooler transition, a new planting season opens to us. We’re blessed with cooler days and nights in autumn when many vegetables thrive. The Autumn Equinox occurs on Sept. 21 with the days are the same length as the night as the days become shorter all the way to the Winter Solstice, Dec.…