Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris & Tsunami Driftage

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) & World Ocean Collective (WOC) are excited to announce their upcoming symposium in Hilo, Hawai‘i. The 2015 Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris & Tsunami Driftage:

Dialogue on marine debris removal, prevention, disaster recovery and making connections around the North Pacific. It will take place from December 3rd to 5th, 2015 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo.

Tsunami Boat in Kahana Bay

This international symposium will be a 2-day endeavor, followed by an optional beach cleanup event hosted by HWF at Kamilo Point, Ka’ū District, Hawai’i Island on the 3rd day (Saturday, Dec. 5).

HWF will work together with local marine debris partners (including Surfrider Foundation, Kōkua Hawaii Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, and DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources), groups from the Pacific Northwest (Washington CoastSavers, SOLVE Oregon, Lion’s Club Int’l), and Japan (Japan Environmental Action Network “JEAN”, Sea Beautification Society) to achieve the following goals:

The underlying purpose of these events is to work with local and int’l government and non-profit partners from around the North Pacific to:

  • Share effective recovery and removal techniques
  • Spread the word about tsunami and disaster preparedness
  • Share updates and new information about ongoing marine debris prevention work
  • Make connections and work together to reduce the amount of marine debris in our world’s oceans and waterways.

Working with members of the international marine debris removal community, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and the newly formed World Ocean Collection would like to showcase the work of non-profit and agency partners around the Pacific shorelines (Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Hawaiʻi, Japan) that has been accomplished in response to the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami tragedy in East Japan.

HWF and WOC will use the tsunami driftage articles that have washed ashore in the Pacific Basin as a stimulus for discussions on marine debris removal and prevention, including the new international connections that have been formed via the returning of personal belongings and holding international symposia.  JEAN organized a similar meeting in Honolulu (Jan 2012) and more recently in Vancouver, British Columbia (Oct 2014) and Natori, Japan (Nov 2014).

“We are looking forward to a productive time with our partners in the field of marine debris recovery”, said Hannah Bernard, HWF Executive Director. “This global problem is one that can only be solved by global cooperation and we are proud that Megan Lamson, our Marine Debris Project Coordinator has initiated the first such symposium wholly sponsored by a Hawaiʻi- based non profit”.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on Hawaii Island Rises to 112

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases has risen by 5 more cases since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 112.

Mosquito Bite

As of November 30, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 98
Visitors 14
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 112

Of the confirmed cases, 98 are Hawaii Island residents and 14 are visitors.
86 cases have been adults; 26 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/20/15.

As of today, a total of 262 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 25, 2015)

Support for Proposed Merger of NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries Grows

NextEra Energy, Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. today announced that support for the companies’ proposed merger continues to grow at a steady pace, as evidenced by the more than 25 diverse groups that in recent weeks have voiced support for the transaction.

NextEra Logo

“As we continue to listen, learn and constructively engage with customers and communities throughout the state, we are extremely pleased to see so many diverse and important stakeholders – from organized labor such as the AFL-CIO and IBEW to business leaders and organizations including multiple chambers of commerce – all echo their support in recognition of the significant and tangible benefits this merger will bring to Hawaii,” said Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii. “The support we have received from these organizations, alongside our recent agreements with the Department of Defense and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, further strengthens our belief that NextEra Energy is the right partner to help Hawaiian Electric achieve Hawaii’s 100 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2045, while integrating more rooftop solar, modernizing the electric grids and lowering customer bills.”

“We are thankful and pleased to see so many Hawaii residents and local groups across our state publicly lend their support for the merger of NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric’s president and chief executive officer. “With its comprehensive commitments to our customers and our communities, NextEra Energy stands ready to be a strong, long-term partner as we work together to build a more affordable, clean energy future for Hawaii.”

The following chambers of commerce, labor unions, local companies and community organizations have voiced support for the proposed merger in recent weeks:

  • Hawaii State AFL-CIO
  • Hawaii Construction Alliance
  • Building Industry Association (BIA) – Hawaii
  • International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1
  • Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Local 630
  • Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
  • Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
  • Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
  • Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii
  • Kauai Chamber of Commerce
  • Kapolei Chamber of Commerce
  • Molokai Chamber of Commerce
  • Hunt Companies
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1186
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1260
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1357
  • KTA Superstores
  • L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
  • Makai Ocean Engineering
  • Nalo Farms
  • Navy League Honolulu Council
  • Pacific Resource Partnership
  • Partners in Development
  • Stanford Carr Development
  • United Public Workers Local 646
  • Waianae Coast Community Foundation

Victim in Fatal Thanksgiving Crash Identified as Destanie Renon

The female victim of a fatal single-vehicle accident that occurred in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Thursday night has been identified as 23-year-old Destanie Renon of Waikoloa.

Destanie Renon

Destanie Renon

National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to the crash which happened on Highway 11 between mile marker 30 and the Pi‘i Mauna Drive intersection in the park around 9:38 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 26.

Renon was traveling south on Highway 11 in a 1992 Honda sedan, and was ejected from the vehicle after she crashed into a cluster of large ‘ōhi‘a trees.  Park rangers and County of Hawai‘i rescue personnel determined Renon did not survive, and her body was transported to Hilo Medical Center.

The cause of the accident is unknown, and an investigation is underway.

Anyone with information regarding this accident is asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170.