Hawai’i Community Foundation Restoration Partnership Announces over $400,000 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

The Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) today announced its 2014 recipients of the Community Restoration Partnership (CRP) grants, totaling over $400,000 to fund the protection and restoration of Hawai’i’s coastal areas.

Hawaii Community FoundationCRP is a collaboration of government agencies, foundations and private donors who provide funds to ensure healthy and sustainable fishery resources, advance innovative restoration techniques, engage local communities in active environmental stewardship, and encourage science-based monitoring to evaluate restoration project success.

“As Hawai’i’s unique coastal resources face increasing threats from invasive species, climate change, and development, it’s more important than ever to support the key organizations who help to protect our environment,” said Josh Stanbro, director of environment and sustainability at HCF. “Through the Community Restoration Partnership, we provide financial assistance for on-the-ground restoration projects that improve ecosystem function and support traditional cultural practices.”

CRP began in 2009 as a partnership with NOAA’s Restoration Center, supported by former Senator Daniel K. Inouye.  Since its inception, the partnership has provided more than $1.5 million in funding to local community organizations, actively bridging cultural and environmental stewardship efforts.

“One of the main priorities of the Hawaii Tourism Authority is to support programs that protect and enhance Hawai’i’s unique natural resources and environment, which are frequented by visitors,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “Supporting HCF’s Community Restoration Partnership programs allows us to sustain our environment, which is one of our most precious destination assets.”

The Community Restoration Partnership is made possible by the Hawai’i Community Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Restoration Center, the Weissman Family Foundation, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.  Another key partner-the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation-recently offered a new challenge grant to inspire new funders to join CRP.  All funding partners jointly review and recommend grants each year through a unique advisory process that also includes resource specialists.

“The most successful community groups have tackled their projects with multiple partners,” says Stanbro. “We’ve taken the same collaborative approach on the funding side and learned a lot in the process.”

Interested funders for the Community Restoration Partnership may contact Josh Stanbro at 808-537-6333 or jstanbro@hcf-hawaii.org. Grant applications for upcoming projects will soon be available, due for submission in July 2014. For more information, visit http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/grants/community-restoration-partnership.

2014 Community Restoration Partnership Grant Recipients:

Friends of Waikīkī Aquarium: A sustainable program that seeks to restore the native marine plant and herbivore community to the reef at Waikiki, specifically addressing invasive algae (seaweeds).

Hui Aloha Kīholo: A restoration project that includes activities in six anchialine pools along the North Kona coastline, protecting the unique habitat from invasive non-native fish, as well as re-establishing a sustainable population of ‘opae’ula to reintroduce the region-specific traditional practice of palu ‘opelu fishing.

Kaiola Canoe Club: A program that clears mangrove and other invasive plants and replants native vegetation to reclaim nearly three acres near the Pu’ali Stream, organizes community work days with youth organizations, and serves the neighboring communities.

Kohala Watershed Partnership: Continued work to restore native vegetation and reduce the bare ground on the Kohala watershed, providing an opportunity for Pelekane Bay’s marine habitats to regenerate while sharing methods and knowledge with restoration projects along the Kohala coastline to multiply the impact of their work on land-based sediment pollution.

Kupu: Kupu’s CU program (formerly known as the Urban Corp), provides under-serviced youth and young adults an opportunity to gain work experience and the chance to graduate with a high school diploma, including a total of 2,500 hours of volunteer service each year at sites that focus on marine resources as well as expanding natural resource and coastal environmental knowledge to a population of young adults who often have little to no knowledge or experience with natural cultural resources.

Mālama Pupukea-Waimea: A project that protects the coral reef habitat in the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District, reducing sediment flow to the reef by installing native plants to hold in place soil currently eroding from the Pupukea Beach Park.

Maunalei Community Marine & Terrestrial Management: A project to protect and restore the coral reef habitat and estuaries and reduce annual land-based sediment by fencing near shore coastal watershed habitat to eliminate overgrazing impacts, allow for native flora plantings, implement permaculture erosion mitigation methods, establish a good well source of water to support traditional farming practice, and create a multi-story agroforest to stabilize the slope and provide food crops for the community.

The Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i: The Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i’s Kane’ohe Bay Reef Restoration Project will construct a mini-barge that will be used to remove and transport invasive algae from the reef in Kaneʻohe Bay to the Heʻeia wetlands to be used as fertilizer by the nonprofit Kakoʻo ʻOiwi’s agricultural projects, as well as support the restoration of native sea urchins and other herbivores in Kane’ohe Bay to continually manage algae regrowth.

Waipa Foundation: A project to continue the restoration of function and habitat in a degraded segment of Waipa Stream and its estuary as well as enhancing coastal wetland habitat, targeting another two acres in 2014 to build upon the four acres already treated.

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