Volunteers Invited to “Huki” Algae for Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 21 to 27 is Invasive Species Awareness Week both nationally and in the state of Hawai‘i. Mālama Maunalua, a non-profit stewardship organization, is inviting volunteers to participate in a community huki (“pull”) of invasive algae  on Saturday, Feb. 27 to help remove three types of invasive alien algae in Maunalua Bay.
Great Huki2
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Paiko Beach in East Oahu. Volunteers will meet and depart from Kuli‘ou‘ou Beach Park located at 100 Bay Street. Parking is available at the beach park lot and on Summer Street. Contact volunteer@malamamaunalua.org or visit http://www.malamamaunalua.org/volunteer/sign-up/ to RSVP.

Great Huki1

The three types of invasive algae affecting the marine ecosystem in the Bay include Gorilla Ogo, Leather Mudweed, and Prickly Seaweed, scientifically known as Gracileria salicornia, Avrainvilea amadelpha, and Acanthophora spicifera. Known to be some of the greatest threats to Hawai‘i’s coral reefs and nearshore marine ecosystems, these  species flourish off of an environment created by sediment and runoff from the land. As the invasive alien algae spreads, it smothers coral reefs and native algal communities, killing extensive areas of native habitat.

Before and After the Great Huki

Before and After the Great Huki

One of Mālama Maunalua’s key initiatives in restoring the health of Maunalua Bay has involved removing the invasive alien algae through regular volunteer-based hukis. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has removed over 3.5 million pounds of invasive alien algae, and cleared 250,000 square meters of invasive species from Paiko Beach, thanks to the help of over 15,000 volunteers of students, community members, partner organizations, and businesses. Mālama Maunalua donates pulled algae to area farmers to be used as fertilizer.

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