Agreement Reached to Place a Conservation Easement Over Lands Owned by Turtle Bay Resort

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort (TBR) to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Governor announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

Governor Abercrombie announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors. This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.’ ”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said: “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu. As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. TBR will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions. The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources. It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will be provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds. The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. TPL will be obtaining funds from various sources. The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said: “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay. Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices. In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

TBR Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”

UH Hilo MOP Students Take Top Awards in Annual Symposium

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program students were recently awarded top honors at the 31st Annual Marine Option Program System Symposium held on April 12 at Kapiolani Community College on O`ahu.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Award for Best Overall Research Paper went to Marine Science senior Amber Forrestral for her project entitled, “Bioimpedance and Condition of Reef Fish Across a Landscape Gradient.”

The Award for Best Internship Project was won by Rebecca Rogers for her project on “Automated, Remote and Near Real-time Sampling and Detection of Harmful Algae using the Environmental Sample Processor.”

Jenae Olson received the Award for Best Poster. Her project, in association with the Division of Aquatic Resources, was on “Determination of the Oxygen Tolerance of Valamugil engeli (Marquesan mullet).”

The PACON International (Hawai’i Chapter) Award for the best project integrating marine science and technology, with a Pacific focus, went to Bradley Young for his project, “Establishment of High Frequency (HF) Radar and Kiosk Interpretation in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.”

Four other UH Hilo students presented their work in the form of oral and poster presentations on research and internship MOP projects that were well received. These students were Christina Crockett, Kevin Bruce, Emily Wallingford, and James Stilley.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. It is a certificate granting program that offers courses on marine project development through the Department of Marine Science.

The annual symposium rotates between UH campuses and will be hosted by Windward Community College in April 2015.

For more information, email uhhmop@hawaii.edu or lparr@hawaii.edu.

Hawaii, Mexico Students Explore Volcano in Virtual Field Trip

Clad in their fiery red uniforms, Keaau Elementary students stand at the edge of Kilauea Volcano and lead a chant in honor of the goddess Pele as they prepare to hike down the Big Island crater. Across the Pacific Ocean, students from Peterson Schools in Mexico City rise in their classroom, reciting the same Hawaiian words as they watch steam billow from the crater’s vents and listen to the gusty trade winds through a live video feed.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dozens of public school students took part in a virtual field trip on Monday to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the latest example of how the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is using technology to innovate and expand learning opportunities at home and abroad.

Virtual ClassChildren from Nanakuli Elementary’s Immersion program (Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Nanakuli), Hale Kula Elementary and University Laboratory School also experienced the sights and sounds of Kilauea volcano, thanks to Keaau students and staff who wore Google Glass to broadcast their excursion online. The public and more than 50 educators worldwide were able to engage in the field trip, which was in part recorded from the students’-eye view via the “Grab & Go Glassroom” – a wired pack projecting a feed from the students’ Google Glass view into a livestream.

Virtual Class3

The DOE’s own digital curriculum program, known as Access Learning, has allowed eight pilot schools – including Keaau and Nanakuli – to explore exciting lessons that go beyond textbooks and classroom walls by equipping students with laptops and training teachers on the latest educational tools.

In February, for example, University Laboratory students live streamed their field trip to Honolulu Zoo to the laptops of Keaau Elementary students. Children from both schools partnered to produce videos and other projects about birds they saw at the zoo.

On Monday, Keaau students returned the favor by bringing other students along as they kicked off their volcano adventure by meeting with Matt Patrick, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

Hawaii and Mexico students quickly peppered Patrick with questions: “How do you know when volcanoes will erupt?” “What do you have to study to become a volcanologist?,” and “What’s the speed of lava?”

Students virtually joined their Keaau classmates on a bus ride to the volcano, then performed a chant together before watching their descent into the crater.

During a question-and-answer period, a Peterson Schools student remarked the experience “was awesome” because it allowed him to “see the things that we don’t have here in Mexico.”
Virtual Class2
University Laboratory teacher Marybeth Baldwin said students use Google applications to do homework, peer edit and collaborate on projects.  Her class will use the information from the volcano field trip to learn a new storytelling tool, called Tour Builder, which lets students create interactive maps of places around the world.

“They will take their own information, their pictures, links, and any text that they write, to build a map and – just like Google Earth – drop a pin with all the story they want to tell,” Baldwin said.

For more photos of today’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

When Whales Fly

When whales fly?

When Whales Fly

Saw this picture on Twitter… not sure who the original photographer is.

UPDATE: (Pic by Matthew Thornton, 2012) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/entries/150230/view/ … pic.twitter.com/yDnq9mvQ6Y

What Does “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” Smell Like?

I’m curious what these smell like?  But really… “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana”?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Commentary – Bureau of Interior Wants To Control New Development in North Kona

I’m deeply concerned about the actions of the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These federal agencies intend to control how much new development happens in North Kona it seems.

For example, the National Park Service wants the State of Hawaii to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water resource management area and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to assign nearly 19,000 acres of land in North Kona as a critical habitat area.  In addition, the
National Park Service was the first entity to intervene in the stalled Queen Kaahumanu Highway phase 2 widening project’s section 106 process in early 2011.

These requests, if approved, will impact all new developments in North Kona. It strips home rule authority from the County of Hawaii and adds an additional layer of bureaucracy to the entitlement process.

I firmly believe the County and State of Hawaii are in a better position to manage our resources than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

DLNR Preparing Draft Kawainui Master Plan And EIS

After an extensive public input process, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will release a draft updated master plan for its management of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex on May 16. At that time, DLNR will initiate a 30-day comment period to seek public comments on the draft plan.

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

“We will continue to develop and finalize our master plan and prepare an EIS as part of the process, which allows opportunities to hear community concerns,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We ask for everyone to go through this important process with us as we listen to all voices in the community.”

The draft master plan, an update of the 1994 Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, is the result of ongoing discussion with the public that seeks to strike a balance among a wide range of opinions regarding management of the area. An EIS will also be prepared for the project that will allow the community to review environmental impacts associated with the updated master plan concepts as part of that environmental review process.

“We want to make it clear that our primary concern is protection and management of the wetlands in Kawainui and Hamakua,” Aila said. “Our main objectives within the marsh are management of native water bird habitat, including habitat for Hawaii’s four species of endangered waterbirds, and the migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that utilize the area on a seasonal basis.”

“The built elements currently being considered in the draft master plan revision – trails, education center, and cultural facilities – are the result of input we have received from the community,” he added. “Neither our Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife and State Parks nor the planners have an agenda either way regarding built elements and public access. We are seeking to accommodate the various opinions and views presented to us. These proposed features are common to natural areas of this type throughout the country and the world. Whatever built elements ultimately make it into the revised plan should not detract from the fact that our primary focus is protection and management of the natural resources at the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex. We have no intention or interest in creating a ‘tourist attraction’ at Kawainui Marsh, as some have suggested.”

Another important element of the master plan for Kawainui Marsh is the flood control project installed by the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This involves maintenance of the flood control levee, and maintaining the marsh lands in such a way as they do not inhibit water flow through the marsh and out into the ocean.

According to David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Oahu branch manager, “The main elements of our resource management program include control of invasive vegetation that is choking out bird habitat. This is a very large and ongoing task involving a huge number of personnel-hours and highly specialized equipment. In addition, the program includes control of non-native predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses and rats that prey on the waterbirds. In the upland areas, we are preserving and managing existing forest cover, and converting non-native forest to native forest through selective control of certain tree and shrub species, and the planting of native species.”

These natural resource management activities make up the bulk of DOFAW’s work in the marsh. Other land management responsibilities include cleaning up illegally dumped trash, cleaning out homeless camps along the marsh periphery, control of illegal access and off-road vehicles that damage marsh resources, clearing over-grown vegetation, mowing open lawn areas, and cleaning up decades of abuse and neglect to the marsh before DLNR gained control of the land. These land management activities are an ongoing, though costly part of DOFAW’s responsibility as stewards at Kawainui.

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
 
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
 
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to Present Public Lecture at UH Mānoa

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced today that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore will present a free public lecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

The seminar is the capstone of the day-long summit, Ascent, organized by UH and Senator Schatz, which will welcome notable dignitaries from around the country to Hawai‘i in order to discuss and propose solutions to Hawai‘i’s most pressing problems. The topics include renewable energy, sustainable energy and water use, and the impacts of human practice and climate change on the essential resources.

Vice President Gore, known for his visionary leadership and decades of work on reducing the harmful impacts of climate change, will be sharing his insight on these and related topics and how they relate to Hawai‘i.

“We are very fortunate that former Vice President Gore will be in Hawai‘i to address an issue that is very important to our university and community,” said UHM Chancellor Tom Apple. “We hope the discussion about sustainability and climate change have a lasting impact and will push Hawai‘i into the global arena.”

“Vice President Gore has been a true friend and ally in the climate change fight. He is a leading voice on clean energy and I am honored he is joining us to discuss Hawai‘i’s future,” said Senator Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Water and Power Energy Subcommittee. “Our state has charted a path forward for a clean energy economy and served as a model for the rest of the country. We need to continue to promote the development of clean energy, which will make Hawai‘i more sustainable and self-sufficient.”

“I am continually impressed by Hawai‘i’s innovative thinking, from clean energy to water to transit,” said Vice President Gore. “Through his work as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Water and Power subcommittee, Senator Schatz is proving himself as a committed leader for our country while simultaneously shining a light on Hawai‘i’s achievements as a national leader on clean energy, sustainability, and climate adaptation.”

The seminar is part of the Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminar in Sustainability series, organized by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program and co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, and other partners, which periodically hosts speakers of the highest distinction. The University’s most prestigious seminar series honors the Pauley Foundation’s significant support of the University of Hawai‘i, Dr. Stephen Pauley’s remarkable individual sustainability efforts, and Mrs. Marylyn Pauley’s national and visionary leadership in higher education.

Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminars in Sustainability are only offered when a particularly significant, timely and critical issue and notable speaker are identified. Seminar topics are diverse with academic, social, cultural, and economic importance. To date the seminars have included light pollution, human health and community design, energy independence and climate change, and fiscal sustainability.

The free seminar is co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Chancellor’s Office, and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. It will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center which can accommodate approximately 10,000 people.

Lava Flow Update – Kahauale’a 2 Flow Continues Moving Through Forest

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, with scattered pāhoehoe breakouts driving slow advancement of the flow field through the forest.

Breakouts at the flow margins trigger forest fires, and numerous plumes of smoke. Today, the flow front was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
A comparison of a thermal image (left) with a normal photograph (right) of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front. Brighter colors in the thermal image depict hotter surface temperatures, with white and yellow areas showing active pāhoehoe breakouts. These breakouts are distributed in a scattered fashion across this portion of the flow field. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, visible in the upper left of the photograph.

A view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater from the north, looking southeast. In the foreground, the crater rim has red hues due to oxidized cinder and spatter from the early days of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. In the center of the photograph, the black crater floor consists of lava flows erupted in the last several years, with several spatter cones built upon these flows. Near the left edge of the photograph, a small perched lava pond has been active in recent months. A closer view of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond has partially closed over the past several weeks, and today was about 5 meters (yards) in diameter – about half of the diameter from two weeks ago. The pond was spattering, with small bits of airborne spatter visible in this photograph.

Kīholo State Park Master Plan Released

Get your copy of the Kīholo State Park Final Master Plan and Final Environmental Assessment! Kiholo State Park

Land board submittal: 04/11/14

Approval of the Kīholo State Park Master Plan, Acceptance of the Final Environmental Assessment, and Issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Proposed Project, TMK: (3) 7-1-02: 02, 08; 7-1-03: 02, 07, Kīholo, North Kona, Hawai‘i.

Palila Mural in Downtown Hilo Featured in First Friday Event

Hilo’s newest artistic treasure, a mural showcasing the palila (a rare native Hawaiian forest bird), will be showcased in a mini-parade featuring the larger-than-life, gigantic palila this First Friday, April 4. Local artist, Kathleen Kam, teamed up with the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project, a project of DLNR and the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, to create the 9 by 12-foot mural.

Local artist Kathleen Kam mural showcasing the palila (a rare native Hawaiian forest bird). Photo by Jackson Bauer.

Local artist Kathleen Kam mural showcasing the palila (a rare native Hawaiian forest bird). Photo by Jackson Bauer.

The painting is on the Hilo Loan Shop building in downtown Hilo adjacent to the KTA Super Store and the bustling Hilo Farmers’ Market. The public is invited to celebrate the mural’s completion on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at 64 Mamo St.

The Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project (MKFRP) commissioned the mural with funds provided by the American Bird Conservancy. Local photographer Jack Jeffrey donated the image that the mural references. The Hilo Loan Shop, Sherwin Williams, HPM Building Supply, and KTA Super Stores also provided generous support that enabled this dream to become a reality.

“We are proud to support Kathleen’s gorgeous mural of this beautiful but highly endangered Hawaiian bird as well as the work DLNR is doing to conserve it,” said Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s science coordinator for Hawai‘i. “It has been exciting to already have people walking by the mural, stop and talk with us about the artwork and learn about the conservation of palila.”

Palila are a member of the Hawaiian honeycreeper family and are dependent upon native māmane trees for 90 percent of their diet. They were listed as endangered in 1973 under the Endangered Species Act as a result of a drastic population decline due to habitat destruction.

“Palila live in a remote and rugged area of the island that not many people ever visit,” said Robert Stephens, MKFRP coordinator. “The goal of this mural is to inspire and educate the community about palila and how the DLNR is preserving this special, native bird and the māmane-naio forest they depend upon.”

Threats to the palila’s existence have included over-browsing by non-native feral sheep, goats and cattle on māmane seedlings and trees over the past 200 years. In addition to predation by non-native feral cats, the introduction invasive insects and plants, drought, fire and disease.

Currently, palila only occupy a small area on Mauna Kea but used to also live on Mauna Loa, Hualālai, and much more of Mauna Kea. Today, the population is estimated to be between only 1,300 and 1,700 individuals remaining on the planet.

“DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) has built 45 miles of sheep-proof fence on Mauna Kea to prevent sheep from entering Palila critical habitat, and removing sheep in those areas, as part of its compliance with a federal court order,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. As part of the reforestation project, volunteers have planted more than 80,000 native seedlings on Mauna Kea since 2010.

Kam’s numerous murals on Hawai‘i island and O‘ahu have focused on Hawai‘i’s native plants and animals. She was inspired to do this project because, “This mural’s visual information, which is fueled by a singular message to save a native species, will endure beyond its intrinsic value,” she said.

Kam depicted the mural in the style of a 1940s-era fruit crate label. She said, “It was the perfect fit in its simplicity and aesthetics, and familiar to Hilo’s agricultural community.”

To learn more about palila and how DLNR is protecting Hawai‘i for generations to come, visit: www.RestoreMaunaKea.org

Albizia-Control Training Workshops in Puna

Invasive albizia trees pose imminent danger to homes, powerlines, emergency access routes, and native forests. As the fastest-growing tree in the world, its brittle branches and shallow roots make it an impending threat to public safety. As part of the “Albizia Demonstration Project,” the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) is providing community training workshops on albizia control on the second Saturday of April and May, in Black Sands, Puna.

Albizia

 

When:        Saturday, April 12th & May 10th, 8:30am-12:00pm

Where:       Meet at the Corner of Ocean View Parkway and Aloha Road, in Black Sands (map).

Directions from Highway 130: Turn right onto One Ele`ele Road. Take the first left onto Ocean View Parkway. Park on the side of the road near the BIISC tent at the corner of Ocean View Parkway and Aloha Rd (12 minutes from Pahoa Town).

What:         Participants will learn how to estimate tree height and the “Incision Point Application” control method, developed by the University of Hawaii and the U.S. Forest Service. Through hands-on training, volunteers will apply their skills to trees endangering the Keauohana Forest, roads, homes and power lines in Black Sands Subdivision.

Who:          Anyone interested in learning about Albizia control. Volunteers under 18 years old must have parental consent.

Sign-up:     Space is limited, please sign-up by emailing biisc@hawaii.edu your name and phone number by Wednesday, April 9th (for April workshop) and Wednesday, May 7th (for May).

What you should bring:

Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy shoes, pants, a long-sleeved shirt, hat, bug repellent, and sunscreen. Gloves, hatchets, herbicide, safety gear, hand-washing stations, and refreshments will be provided.

Why in Black Sands?

BIISC identified the Black Sands area of Puna as a case study to showcase the wide range of issues in albizia control, develop best management practices, and empower communities to limit the spread of these menacing trees in their own neighborhoods. The 500-acre “Albizia Demonstration Project” area in Puna includes trees overhanging homes and roads, as well as in native lowland Keauohana forest.

Why use herbicide?

The “Incision Point Application” control method has proven most effective and efficient at killing non-hazard albizia trees in natural areas (at least 100 ft. away from homes or roads). This method involves making one angled cut every 6-10’’ around the tree trunk, then carefully applying 0.5-1mL (10-20 drops) of Milestone Specialty Herbicide into each cut. The herbicide is then taken into the tree’s circulatory system, killing the tree. The tree will drop its leaves within two weeks and crumble over the next two years. This method does not disturb the surrounding foliage, allowing a natural shield from more albizia seeds taking root. More information about Milestone and how to ensure environmental and human safety will be available at the training workshops.

What is BIISC?

The Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) is a voluntary partnership of private citizens, community organizations, businesses, and government agencies working to address invasive species issues on the island of Hawaii. The mission of BIISC is to prevent, detect, and control the spread of the highest risk invasive species threats to the Big Island environment, economy, and way of life. BIISC’s guiding principle is to serve the land and people of Hawaii. BIISC is a project of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii.  Projects are funded by a combination of public and private service contracts and competitive grants.

Parker Ranch Launches Paniolo Power Company

Parker Ranch has launched a new subsidiary, Paniolo Power Company LLC, Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch, Inc., announced today.
Parker Cows
“The preliminary results from our energy team, led by Siemens, tell us there is the real opportunity to attract capital to invest in our community grid concept,” Kuyper said.

Parker Ranch hired a consortium led by Siemens to evaluate the merits of a community-based energy solution for Greater Waimea and Kohala as well as prepare a utility-grade integrated resource plan.

Hawaii Island electric rates from Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) are consistently more than 37 cents a kilowatt-hour, and often well over 40 cents, despite nearly half of the island’s electricity being generated from renewable sources. The national average for electricity rates last year was 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“We think that the residents and businesses of the Big Island could be better served by a series of community solutions with regional level distributed generation focusing on our plentiful renewable resources,” said Kuyper.

“Because our island is so large, it is in a sense a few islands within the island.  Waimea is 55 miles from Kona and 60 miles from Hilo.  A combination of several regional solutions for the various parts of the island seems to make logical sense.”

Kuyper said that Paniolo Power has begun discussions with potential operating and capital partners to manage and fund the effort. “We are pleased and excited about the inquiries that we have received in recent months to co-invest in our concept.  My background lends itself to raise capital for these kinds of investments,” said Kuyper.

Parker Ranch will present the preliminary findings on its Integrated Resource Plan study to the Waimea Community Association Thursday, April 3, 5:15 p.m. in the Waimea School Cafeteria.

Tsunami Threat To Hawaii Still Being Evaluated After 8.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes off Chile

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII
Civildefense
SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AT
THIS TIME. HOWEVER... THE TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII IS STILL
BEING EVALUATED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0147 PM HST 01 APR 2014
   COORDINATES - 19.8 SOUTH   70.8 WEST
   LOCATION    - OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CHILE
   MAGNITUDE   - 8.0  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED AN EXPANDING
 REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH FOR PARTS OF THE PACIFIC
 LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. AN EVALUATION OF THE PACIFIC
 WIDE TSUNAMI THREAT IS UNDERWAY AND THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT
 HAWAII COULD BE ELEVATED TO A WATCH OR WARNING STATUS.

 IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THEIR ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL
 TIME IS  0324 AM HST WED 02 APR 2014

FURTHER STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS
WARRANT UNTIL THE THREAT TO HAWAII HAS PASSED.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund and State Team Up to Clean Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR)

Saturday marked the fifth year that Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund (HWF) has teamed up with the State’s Natural Area Reserve crew to clean up a stretch of coastline within the Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR), which extends from Ka‘ū into South Kona.  During this time, over 130 people have helped haul over 2,975 pounds of marine debris and shoreline rubbish off this remote stretch of coastline that extends from Humuhumu Pt. to the north.

Group photo at the end of a long, successful, cleanup day!

Group photo at the end of a long, successful, cleanup day!

This weekend was no different.  After driving over very rough roads and hiking over a mile each way, the 30 cleanup participants hauled 26 bags of debris (weighing ~430 lbs.) off the isolated shoreline.  Volunteers came from Hilo, Kona, Puna and Kaʻū and worked for hours on this collective mission to mālama ke kahakai (take care of the shoreline).

Cleanup volunteer, Joe Robinson, drives the HWF truck towards the cleanup site.

Cleanup volunteer, Joe Robinson, drives the HWF truck towards the cleanup site.

NAR Specialist, Jenn Randall, arranged to bring an all-terrain vehicle to haul debris back to the staging site where it will be removed by helicopter in the coming week.  Mike McCagh, with HI Kombucha, brought a keg of grapefruit kombucha tea to share with the hardworking participants.  Tony Villegas, with Coconut Auto Repair, provided a 4WD vehicle to transport a group of youngsters from Kaʻū.  Joe Robinson, underwater photographer from Kailua-Kona, donated his time and equipment to photo document and film the event.  Randall, added that they were quite pleased by the outcome of the day and that volunteers had removed all the debris she was hoping for with energy and enthusiasm.

Volunteers, Brian Waldo and Tony Villegas, showing off their debris finds.

Volunteers, Brian Waldo and Tony Villegas, showing off their debris finds.

HWF has been leading community-based efforts to remove marine debris from along the Ka‘ū coastline since 2003.  During this time, HWF estimates that over 90% of the 168 tons of debris removed is plastic (e.g., fishing line/nets, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes).  As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Marine Debris Program shares, “Marine debris affects everyone”.  Here locally, HWF strongly believes that the solution begins with individuals like those of who volunteered this weekend and with the small decisions that residents of Hawaiʻi Island make each day.

An assortment of interesting finds from the event … (not including one small glass float).

An assortment of interesting finds from the event … (not including one small glass float).

Examples of these choices include re-using or simply refusing single-usage plastics, bringing your own water bottle or using available drinking fountains, and carrying your own to-go ware to Styrofoam-toting restaurants.

HWF’s Project Coordinator, Megan Lamson, implores, “Do your part to help our marine and coastal wildlife: choose to re-use, remember to recycle, and limit your single-use purchases!  We live on an island, and we must be mindful of how we are treating the land, freshwater, and ocean that support us.”

Kaʻū youth group with their leader, Terry Shibuya, and NARS crew (intern Rory and Specialist Jenn Randall).

Kaʻū youth group with their leader, Terry Shibuya, and NARS crew (intern Rory and Specialist Jenn Randall).

For more info about getting involved in an upcoming cleanup event, please contact HWF at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, call 808-769-769 or check out their website at www.wildhawaii.org

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Off the Coast of the Big Island

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the Kailua side of the Big Island this afternoon.  No tsunami was generated from this.
3.0 Kalaloa

Video: Flash Flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands have been getting a lot of rain in the last few days.  Here is a video of a flash flood on the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.

The video was uploaded yesterday.

In Celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival – Learn About Hula Plants from Kumu Hula/Botanist Team

On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia and Tim Tunison lead the field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.  To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula. To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

“Please join us for this exciting program in celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula,” stated Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Elizabeth Fien.

From kumu hula Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu understands them).

“There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, ‘ie‘ie, ‘ilima, lehua, and halapepe.  In addition, there are adornments—mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers—which include maile, ‘ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, ‘a‘ali‘i, pukiawe, and ‘olapa,” Valencia explained.

Participants meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.  The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula—the hula platform that overlooks Halema‘uma‘u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele.

Next the group will drive to Kilauea Overlook to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants—and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tunison.

“After lunch, we’ll visit Tunison’s property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem.  We’ll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home,” said Valencia.

Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his ‘ohana (family) was originally from Hilo.  He established Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu in Honolulu in 1991, and currently maintains his halau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years.  He was a Botanist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired.  Since then, Tunison has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration.

This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.  Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members.  Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.  Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register for the “Plants of Hula” field seminar, call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email institute@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

Coast Guard Evacuates Four From Molokini Crater After Jellyfish Attacks

The Coast Guard medically evacuated four people after they sustained jellyfish stings while snorkeling near Molokini Crater, Maui, Tuesday.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Maui received a call from a charter vessel stating one adult and three children had been stung by jellyfish while they were snorkeling near Molokini Crater.

A 25-foot Response Boat - Small boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to the scene.

The crewmembers arrived on scene at 10:10 a.m. and transferred the four injured people aboard the RB-S.

They were transported to the Kihei Boat Ramp in Kihei where emergency medical services were waiting.

The adult was in shock and the three children sustained minor injuries.