News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Molokai to Receive $1.5M for Watershed Project

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service News Release

Molokai’s Pua`ahala Watershed Project will be one of two federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) grants to be funded in Hawaii this year. The FWS is awarding $37.2 million in grants to 20 states — including more than $2 million to Hawaii — to support conservation planning and acquisition of vital habitat for threatened, endangered and at-risk species.

The Pua`ahala Watershed Project will receive $1,566,875. This project will secure long-term protection of Hawaii’s listed species as part of the State’s comprehensive recovery effort. The subject area contains some of the highest quality native forest habitat on Molokai.…

NextEra’s Commitment to Hawaii

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

Opinion by Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawaii

Gov. David Ige’s recent comments raised important questions about our pending merger and Hawaii’s clean energy future, questions that we continue to work diligently and transparently to address. We want to make our position clear and reiterate our full and unequivocal support of the State of Hawaii’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. We believe our proposed partnership with Hawaiian Electric provides the best path forward to achieving what is, without question, an aggressive, yet very attainable, goal. Together, we can get there.

The renewable energy law signed by Gov.…

Changing Seasons

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

We are in the midst of the Dog Days of summer, which runs July 3 to Aug. 11 and named after the star Sirius or the Dog in the constellation Orion. This is traditionally the hottest weather of the year, and I can’t argue that. Plants can sense subtle changes in day length and temperature in our changing seasons as the days get shorter, and the nights get longer. Long-day plants, such as corn and soybeans bask in the long hot days of summer, while others such as lettuce and kale prefer cooler days and nights.…

Grant Supports Youth Training in Sustainable Ag

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Sust`ainable Molokai (SM) recently received a $17,434 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support the efforts of SM’s Molokai Agricultural Youth Leadership Development Program.

The Youth Leadership Program aims to train high school and college youth in sustainable agriculture and permaculture practices through an ongoing mentorship program. The mentees will gain knowledge in the areas of traditional Hawaiian agriculture, professional business skills, hands-on experience, and will be encouraged to find their own unique way to contribute to food sovereignty in their community while earning a stipend upon the completion of the program.…

Mokulele Adds Direct Flight to Kona

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Molokai residents traveling to Hawaii Island will have a much easier option starting in September. Mokulele Airlines is adding a direct flight between Molokai and Kona, eliminating the need to stop on Oahu or Maui en route to Hawaii Island.

The airline will be offering two round trip flights daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, according to Mokulele representatives.

“Primarily this service is being offered because of the feedback we were given from the community,” said Mokulele President and CEO Ron Hansen.  “We realized that the residents of Molokai were looking for a fair price for travel to the Big Island.…

Iconic Grove Restored

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Iconic Grove Restored

The grove before renovation. Photo by Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd.

Just weeks ago, Molokai’s historic Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove was thick with shrubs, piles of dead fronds and manmade trash. Now, after a thorough weeklong overhaul, the ground is bare and smooth, the fallen tree trunks are stacked neatly and Molokai residents see what many of them said they remember growing up: an unobscured view of the ocean between the towering palms.

“We’re happy it’s clean. It’s like we got back the old Coconut Grove,” said Kalamaula Homestead Association President Gayla Haliniak-Lloyd, who said the last clean-up was about four years ago.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), which owns land the property, organized the cleaning in response to community meetings in May and June during which many Kalamaula residents pointed out the grove’s deteriorating conditions.…

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Kualapuu students enjoy a second year of free lunches. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

With the start of a federal free breakfast and lunch program offered in public schools island-wide and recent trends toward local, healthy eating, Molokai students are set to benefit in both the cafeteria and the classroom.

Last month, five Molokai schools were selected to receive free meals for all students regardless of household income through a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

While principals of most schools said making sure all students had lunch wasn’t a major issue in the past, they said it would still be a significant financial relief for many families.…

Picking Up Plastics

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Picking Up Plastics

Volunteers work to clear rocks near the shore. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Mo`omomi Beach has long been considered one of Molokai’s richest areas for natural resources. However, it’s also one of most Hawaii’s most debris-laden beaches, and last Saturday, more than 150 volunteers did what they could to remove thousands of pounds of bottles, rope and plastic rubbish of all shapes and sizes from the area.

The north-facing coastline is the first stopping point in the state for marine refuse floating from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, according to Kahi Pacarro, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH).

The nonprofit’s mission is to inspire local communities to care for their coastlines through hands-on beach cleanups, and for the second year, they gathered manpower and momentum at Mo`omomi to fulfill that mission.…

Join Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii News Release

For the second year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) is hosting the Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup and Community Service Project on Molokai on Saturday, Aug. 1. Sponsored by Matson, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Parley for the Oceans, this cleanup removes harmful marine debris from one of the most remote beaches on Molokai. Mo`omomi Beach, a mix of rocky and sandy coastline on the island’s north shore, is the first stopping point in the main Hawaiian Islands for marine debris coming from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“Each Hawaiian Island has issues with marine debris but Molokai gets hit extra hard due to its open geography towards the north,” says Kahi Pacarro, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s co-founder and executive director.…

Mapping a Marine Menace

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Mapping a Marine Menace


Volunteers document patches of gorilla ogo near Alii Fishpond. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Armed with GPS units, yardsticks and clipboards, Molokai volunteers and Oahu scientists spent three days last week peering into the island’s shallow south shore waters, looking for an invasive alien algae known as gorilla ogo.

The migrating algae, subject to wind and tides, has settled into Molokai waters and is threatening reef life.

“It can just take over an entire area and become the dominant species,” said Brian Neilson, aquatic invasive species biologist for the state’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).  “It overcrowds native limu, and it can grow over coral colonies and smother and kill coral.”

Before any removal efforts can begin, however, residents needed to identify the areas of the shoreline most under siege.…