Honolulu Mayor Signs National Safe Boating Week Proclamation

Representatives from Honolulu City and County, the 14th Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Sail and Power Squadron, Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron and Hawaii Ocean Safety participated in the signing of a proclamation for National Safe Boating Week at Honolulu City Hall, Friday.

Representatives from Honolulu City and County, the 14th Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Sail and Power Squadron, Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron and Hawaii Ocean Safety participated in the signing of a proclamation for National Safe Boating Week at Honolulu City Hall Friday, April 5, 2013. National Safe Boating Week is an annual initiative sponsored by the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The purpose is to raise awareness of and encourage safe boating practices. Other National Safe Boating Week topics include the importance of life jackets, purchasing, maintaining and registering an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, carrying safety and communication equipment aboard a vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto)

Representatives from Honolulu City and County, the 14th Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Sail and Power Squadron, Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron and Hawaii Ocean Safety participated in the signing of a proclamation for National Safe Boating Week at Honolulu City Hall Friday, April 5, 2013. National Safe Boating Week is an annual initiative sponsored by the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The purpose is to raise awareness of and encourage safe boating practices. Other National Safe Boating Week topics include the importance of life jackets, purchasing, maintaining and registering an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, carrying safety and communication equipment aboard a vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto)

“We appreciate the mayor’s proclamation of May 18-24, 2013 as National Safe Boating Week,” said Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, the 14th Coast Guard District commander. “Preparation helps save lives. Monday’s rescue of six mariners off Maui proved that preparation is essential in the event of a maritime emergency. The captain of the excursion vessel Piper radioed the Coast Guard for help, ordered the passengers to don life jackets and enter a life raft, contributing to the survival of all six people.”

National Safe Boating Week is an annual initiative sponsored by the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary. The purpose is to raise awareness of, and encourage, safe boating practices. Other National Safe Boating Week topics include the importance of life jackets, purchasing, maintaining and registering an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, carrying safety and communication equipment aboard a vessel and the use of float plans and Paddle Smart stickers. National Safe Boating Week runs from May 18-24.

 

State of Hawaii Invests in Innovative Zero Waste Biofuel Program – Governor Presents $200,000 to Hilo-Based Project

Governor Presents $200,000 to Hilo-Based Project, Recognizes Local Researcher Dennis Gonsalves, Ph.D.

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At a special open house event at the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC), Gov. Neil Abercrombie today presented a $200,000 check from the state Department of Agriculture that will go toward the Hilo center’s zero waste biofuel and high protein feed program.

PBARC along with Florida-based BioTork Hawaii LLC have invested more than $1 million to successfully develop an economically sustainable zero waste conversion project producing biofuel and high protein animal feed from unmarketable papaya. The conversion process takes 14 days to cycle in a heterotrophic environment, meaning no sunlight is needed using organically optimized algae/fungi developed and patented by BioTork.

From Gov. Abercrombie's Facebook page.

From Gov. Abercrombie’s Facebook page.

The state’s $200,000 investment will assist PBARC in moving the project to pilot scale as a prelude to commercial production. The State of Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) will become a venture partner to globally export the rapid conversion technology in association with PBARC and BioTork Hawaii LLC.

“This patented evolutionary technology is unique to the marketplace and places Hawaii in a leading position in the area of biofuel and feed research,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “With this technology, farmers can turn agricultural waste into an additional revenue stream, and local production of biofuel can lower dependence on Hawaii’s import of fossil fuels.

“Aside from the benefit of producing biofuel, this technology has the ability to create another revenue stream for papaya and other tropical agriculture farmers. Local high protein feed production – another by-product of this process – can greatly benefit cattle, hog, chicken and aquaculture farms through competitive market pricing.”

The state also hopes to develop a long-term revenue generator as a partner exporting this technology. At full scale, more than 1,000 jobs are projected.

While papaya was chosen as the initial feedstock, this technology can be applied to any plant material as a carbon source. In Hawaii, other identifiable feedstock are unmarketable sweet potato, sugar cane, mango, albizia and glycerol. Invasive trees like albizia could be used as feedstock in this zero waste program.

“This Hawaii-based technological development is a major breakthrough that focuses on key components hampering the sustainability efforts of other microorganism based biofuel projects,” said James Nakatani, ADC executive director. “These obstacles include the high cost of feedstock. Approximately 70 percent of the cost for production is consumed in this area. Using unmarketable plant and other waste materials drastically reduces this cost driver.

“While past lab projects have not translated into robust performances when scaled-up, BioTork’s solution promotes rapid and dynamic evolution of microorganisms that are robust even in ‘suboptimal’ conditions.”

Research and development funds will be used for customizing feedstock formulations to create Hawaii’s zero waste conversion technological library. The library will be available for export and sale to other states and countries. The United States alone produces up to 20 million metric tons of culled produce from which as much as 1.7 billion gallons of renewable lipids could be made.

Dr. Dennis Gonsalves Day
Also at the event, the Governor honored Kohala-born Dennis Gonsalves, Ph.D. by proclaiming April 6 “Dr. Dennis Gonsalves Day,” recognizing his research efforts at PBARC to improve and develop sustainable agriculture crops and programs in Hawaii and around the world.

Dr. Gonsalves served for 10 years as PBARC’s director and recently retired. He is most noted for his efforts that saved Hawaii’s papaya industry from the ringspot virus. The transgenic “Rainbow Papaya” that he and his team developed and released to growers in 1998 helped to bring the industry back after ringspot virus had reduced Hawaii’s papaya production by 50 percent.

DLNR Repairs at Kekaha Kai State Park Begin Monday

Starting Monday, April 8, 2013, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will begin repair work on the entry road to the Mahaiula section of Kekaha Kai State Park, necessitating weekday closures. This work is anticipated to take three to four weeks and will consist of pothole and sectional filling and laying compacted gravel on the roadway surface. This park section will be closed on weekdays from April 8 to May 3, 2013, but reopened on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) during this period.

Kekaha Kai

Starting in May, work will begin in the Maniniowali or Kua Bay section of the park. A new outdoor rinsing shower will be constructed, and waterline improvements made. The project is expected to be completed by July 2013 or sooner as conditions allow. This park section will be open but there will be construction activities near the parking area and the pathway leading to the beach. Appropriate safety barriers and practices will be implemented.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of visitors and residents using the park during this needed repair project. Kekaha Kai State Park provides unique recreational opportunities and is a popular destination for all users,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

The contractor is George M. Oye, Inc., and the project cost is $188,000.

Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park is located on Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Hwy. 19), 2.6 miles north of Keahole Airport. Separate 1.5 mile access roads from the highway lead to the Mahaiula (unpaved) and Maniniowali (Kua Bay) sections of the park. The Mahaiula section has a sandy beach and dune with opportunities for swimming and beach-related activities. A picnic area with tables is available. A 4.5-mile hike north through this wilderness park on the historic coastal trail, Ala Kahakai, leads to the Kua Bay section at the north end of park and beach-related activities. Midway, a hike to the summit of Puu Kuili, a 342-foot high cinder cone, offers an excellent view of the coastline. The park can be dry and hot, and is equipped with restrooms, picnic tables, and trash cans, but no drinking water. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.