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Ualapu‘e Fishpond Restoration Project

Ma‘ana News Release

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded Ma‘ana – Ma‘oli Aquaculture and Agriculture Native Assistance – a grant to support the opening of the Ualapu‘e Fishpond restoration project.

Ma‘ana intends to incorporate significant cultural and spiritual traditions into the restoration of the pond. This project will serve as an educational program to help the local population create a sustainable ecosystem based on the expert methodology developed by ancient Hawaiians. The knowledge of the living experts will be conveyed during ‘olelo sessions, as well as in practice.

The opening ceremony will take place at Ualapu‘e Fishpond March 10 at 10 a.m.

Ma‘ana invites the public to attend the Community Meeting in which aquaculture experts, cultural advisors, fish biologists, and those with pond restoration experience will discuss aspects of the project with members of the community, answer any questions and welcome community involvement and support of the project. Ma‘ana welcomes volunteer participation.

Cultural advisor Papa Kilo Hoku Michael Lee will share his knowledge of the spiritual and cultural traditions practiced by ancient Hawaiians in the ahupua‘a system, particularly in regard to the fishponds and lo‘i, the ancient aquaculture and agricultural practices.

At the end of the community meeting, members of the community are invited to join Ma‘ana at Ualapu‘e Fishpond where Papa Kilo Hoku Michael Lee will perform three sacred ancient pohaku rituals. These are important components when the ancient fishponds were originally created.

Ceremonies showing respect for tradition are the pono way to restore the broken walls. When the walls are repaired properly, the pond will be able to breathe and this flow will help the target species thrive in abundance.

After the pohaku rituals, there will be a fish-fry and music to celebrate the event.

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