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Guiding Restoration of Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko i‘a, or traditional Hawaiian fishponds, are unique aquaculture systems that existed throughout ancient Hawai‘i. Although a 1990 statewide survey identified 488 loko i‘a sites, many were in degraded condition, and either completely beyond repair or unrecognizable.

fishponds2However, there is hope, as communities and stewardship groups continue to actively restore or have expressed interest in reviving the integrity and productivity of fishpond locations still in existence.

Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair says, “In 2012, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations came together to overcome difficulties in obtaining approvals from multiple agencies, to maintain and restore Hawaiian fishponds.”

fishpondsFishpond practitioners formed Hui Malama Loko I‘a to empower one another and leverage their skills, knowledge and resources, while working to feed and connect communities around the islands.  This network currently includes over 38 fishponds and complexes, with over 100 fishpond owners, workers, supporters and stakeholders.

Case adds, “Now the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands is releasing a new guidebook on fishpond restoration in time for the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. This guidebook marks the beginning of what we hope will be a new day in Hawaiian fishpond revitalization,” she said.

Fishponds3The newly published, high-quality, full-color “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook” is intended to help cultural practitioners, landowners and community groups navigate a new streamlined application process for Hawaiian fishpond revitalization.

Historically, fishponds have been subject to an extensive permitting process that requires large amounts of resources and time to secure. So in 2015 the State of Hawai‘i completed streamlining the permitting process for the repair, restoration, maintenance and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds in Hawai‘i.

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) and collaborators have developed a master permit for traditional Hawaiian fishponds that encompasses the main permits currently required. This master permitting process and program is called “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a.” The program was designed to be in compliance with as many federal and state regulations as possible to make the permitting process easier for fishpond practitioners to navigate.

Practitioners can now use a simplified conservation district use permit to apply for permits under this programmatic permit.

A programmatic environmental assessment (EA) was also completed to comply with the Hawai’i Environmental Quality Act (HEPA). The CDUP and programmatic EA were designed to cover all existing traditional fishponds in the State.

fishponds4Another helpful step was the signing of Bill 230 by Governor Ige in July 2015, which waived the need to obtain a Department of Health 401 Water Quality Certification for fishpond restoration.  This waiver is only available to projects that obtain permits through the OCCL program.  While the program vastly reduces government red tape, projects are still required to have water quality monitoring, mitigation and best management practices in place to keep Hawaii’s waters clean and reefs healthy.

The Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook further provides clear guidance on how to meet State water quality standard.

Although this streamlined permitting program covers many of the authorizations for restoring a loko i‘a, in some cases, additional permits or authorizations may still be required, such as:

  • A right of entry agreement from DLNR land division for a state-owned pond
  • A stream channel alteration permit from the Commission on Water Resource Management)
  • A special management area county permit for work mauka of the shoreline

Applications submitted to OCCL are reviewed and subject to best management practices and monitoring standards that help to protect Hawaii’s environmental and cultural resources while supporting the need for communities and practitioners to care for
loko i‘a.

Hawaii Department of Transportation Prepares for Hurricanes

The Highways, Harbors and Airports Divisions within the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) are making preparations in advance of the severe weather forecast from Hurricanes Madeline and Lester, which are tracking toward the state. Residents and visitors should continue to monitor current conditions with the National Weather Service and media outlets.

Department of Transportation logoThe public is advised that despite precautions, ponding may still occur on the roadways if too much water falls in a short period of time, as was the case with Tropical Storm Darby on July 24, 2016 when approximately 11 inches of rain fell over Oahu within a matter of hours. The public is asked to be vigilant, monitor conditions and follow instructions from authorities. In cases of severe weather, the best option may be to stay home or indoors if possible.

HIGHWAYS:
Crews will be ready to respond as necessary should a roadway be impacted. Equipment is being staged in areas that have experienced storm damage in the past. Storm drains, particularly those in areas prone to flooding, will be checked for blockage and will be monitored to ensure they continue to function at maximum capacity. Fuel tanks are being topped off and ready for 24-hour cleanup mode.

HDOT is working with contractors on construction sites to remove the best management practices (BMP) that could obstruct the flow of water, such as drain sleeves and other filtration devices. Previously scheduled lane closures and construction projects may be altered depending on weather conditions.

As always, we strongly encourage drivers to use the many applications and resources available to check up to the minute traffic conditions. HDOT offers www.GoAkamai.org which is a website with current traffic conditions and incidents on the state freeways, 200 traffic cameras around Oahu, drive times and more. With the free MyGoAkamai feature drivers can receive customized alerts and information pertinent to their specific route, time and day they are on the road. Looking at traffic conditions in advance can help people decide which route is best or if they should adjust the time they start their trip.

There are also a variety of other free traffic related applications and services available to help people with their planning. Drivers should feel free to use whichever resource they are comfortable with. People should look up the information on their devices prior to getting behind the wheel of their car. Remember to drive safely and obey traffic laws.

HAWAII COUNTY
HDOT is preparing to close the Umauma Bridge as a precaution, as has been done in the past. The Bridge will remain open as long as possible. In the event it is closed people should expect delays in the area. Motorists should follow the signage to the alternate route on the Old Mamalahoa Highway.

MAUI COUNTY
Equipment is being staged in areas such as Hana Highway in an effort to respond to landslides and reopen roadways as quickly as possible. We are coordinating with contractors to ensure additional workers will be available if necessary.

Crews are repairing a section of Honoapiilani Highway near mile marker 13 in order to prevent further erosion damage. The repairs are in line with federal highway safety regulations.

OAHU
Crews are placing large sandbags on School Street near Liliha Street to help prevent water from flowing down to the H-1 Freeway. This is an area that experienced flooding during Tropical Storm Darby.

Crews are assessing Kamehameha Highway near Kaaawa and will work to reduce the risk of erosion damage from the high surf.

KAUAI
Crews will continue to monitor the conditions, check storm drains for blockage, top off fuel tanks, and ensure equipment is in proper working order.

HARBORS:
HDOT Harbors Division works in close coordination with the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG will determine condition levels and ultimately make the decision to close a port. Certain condition levels will trigger preparations for the State to ensure harbor facilities are protected and readying the port for the possibility of strong winds and high surf. This includes securing flying hazards, ensuring boats are properly tied to piers, and ensuring oily mixtures and trash are properly disposed.  This condition will also prompt certain vessels to declare their intentions of whether they intend to stay in port if conditions change.

AIRPORTS:
HDOT Airports Division has protocols in place for pre-storm arrival preparations for any major natural disaster.  Per protocol, vehicles, emergency generators, pumping stations, and equipment are topped off with fuel.  Emergency fuel is also made ready for deployments as directed.

State firefighters stationed at the airport facilities are ready to respond to situations as necessary. Plans are in place for emergency heavy duty equipment to be secured at designated locations around the facility to provide safe haven for all equipment that would be needed to work on the airfield after the storm.

HDOT Airports Division works with the airlines to ensure equipment is secured. As a reminder, HDOT does not control the aircrafts in flight. It is up to the airline and individual pilots to determine if conditions are safe enough to fly. Passengers should consult their airline for current flight information.

Hurricane Checklist for Pet Owners and List of Pet Friendly Shelters #HurricaneMadeline

With the onset of a Hurricane Madeline Warning across the Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe during and after the storm:

pet evacuation

  • Bring pets inside.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and may isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet tied up during a storm.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally.
  • If you find a stray pet during the storm, please provide it shelter and then drop it off when weather conditions clear at one of three islandwide Hawaii Island Humane Society shelters in Keaau, Waimea and Kona.

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and well prepared. If you are advised to evacuate or do not trust the stability of your home, please consider your pet’s safety.

Here is a list of Emergency Pet Friendly Shelters due to open at 5:00 p.m. today on our island. If you evacuate, take your pets!

  • WAIAKEA HIGH
  • KALANIANAOLE ELEMENTARY
  • KEAAU HIGH
  • PAHOA HIGH
  • HONOKAA HIGH &INTERMEDIATE
  • KEALAKEHE HIGH
  • KONAWAENA HIGH
  • KAU HIGH

Come prepared with these items:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Towel
  • Litter and litter box
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

These shelters are for safety only and will not have the comforts of home. Pet owners need to stay with their pet and provide the necessary care.

We are also seeking volunteers to help us staff these emergency shelters. If you are willing and able to assist, please contact the shelter nearest to you for instructions. If you are a pet owner who is evacuating to these shelters and are willing to help, please see the staff member present.

After the Storm

Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home. After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.

Hawaii Governor Signs Pre-Landfall Emergency Proclamation

Gov. David Ige signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation on Tuesday, as the state prepares for possible impacts from hurricanes Madeline and Lester. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms.

Click to read the full proclamation

Click to read the full proclamation

“As always, our top priority is protecting the health, safety and overall welfare of our residents and visitors. During this time, I ask residents and visitors to closely follow emergency instructions as we prepare for the storm. I urge you to take immediate steps to protect your families, loved ones, employees and property. The state is monitoring the storms and standing by to support the counties,” said Gov. Ige.

The disaster emergency relief period begins on August 30 and continues through September 9, 2016.

For the latest information from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) please go to:
Website: https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiEMA/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hawaii_EMA

Hurricane Madeline Update for Tuesday, August 30th at 12:30 PM

This is a Hurricane Madeline update for Tuesday, August 30th at 12:30 PM.

madeline10

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Hawaii County.  A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be completed by nightfall today.

As of 11 AM today the National Weather Service reports Hurricane Madeline is located about 370 miles east of Hilo.  Madeline is a category three hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour with higher gusts.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Madeline is moving west at 10 miles per hour.  This motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest tonight through early Thursday. On this forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass very close to South Point of the Big Island.

The following hazards are anticipated:

Hurricane force winds are expected over Hawaii County sometime Wednesday into early Thursday.

Ocean swells generated by Madeline are expected to build from east to west across the Hawaiian Islands today and tonight, possibly becoming damaging along east facing shores of the Big Island.

Heavy rains associated with Madeline may reach Hawaii County on Wednesday with greatest amounts over windward areas. This rainfall may lead to dangerous flash floods and mudslides.

In preparation for Hurricane Madeline, the public is advised to be StormReady.

Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.  Include a flashlight with fresh batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any medication or supplies specific to you or your family members.

Plan how to communicate with family members.  Create an evacuation plan for your household.  Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.  Keep your vehicle fueled and cell phone charged.

To help preserve water availability through the storm, the Department of Water Supply asks customers to minimize non-essential use of water, such as irrigation.

Find more StormReady tips and sign up for notifications at hawaiicounty.gov.

Civil Defense will maintain close communications with the National Weather Service.  Continue to monitor your local radio broadcasts for up-to-date information.

Thank you for listening, this is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

 

Hurricane Warning Now in Effect for Big Island – Tropical Storm Watch for Maui, Molokai & Lanai

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Hawaii County.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Maui County including the islands of Maui Molokai and Lanai.

madeline10

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere in the main Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Madeline.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by the National Weather Service office in Honolulu Hawaii.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 19.3 North, longitude 149.4 West. Madeline is moving toward the west near 10 mph (17 km/h). This motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest tonight through early Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to the Big Island of Hawaii Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts.  Madeline is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 967 mb (28.56 inches).

Hurricane Madeline 11:00 PM Update From Hawaii

At 1100 PM HST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 19.1 North, longitude 147.2 West.

madeline9

Madeline is moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to become west southwesterly late Tuesday through late Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to the Big Island Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Madeline is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast through late Wednesday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 950 mb (28.06 inches).

Hurricane Madeline Update

At 500 PM HST (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 18.9 North, longitude 146.3 West. Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h).

madeline8A gradual turn toward the west is expected by Tuesday, with Madeline expected to move west-southwest Tuesday night into Wednesday. Little change in forward speed is expected the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass dangerously close to the Big Island Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Madeline is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in intensity is expected tonight, with gradual weakening forecast Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 955 mb (28.20 inches).

Coast Guard Urges Public to Prepare for Heavy Weather Ahead of Hurricane Madeline

The Coast Guard is urging the public to prepare for the onset of heavy weather expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands, Wednesday.

epac satCurrently, Hurricane Madeline has maximum winds of 100 mph and is expected to generate high surf throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Mariners and beachgoers should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television, radio stations and official accounts on social media. Boaters can monitor the progress of the storm on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.

The Coast Guard is working closely with local and state first responder agencies. Once the storm begins to impact the islands, emergency responders may not be able to assist those in danger. The public is urged to heed all evacuation orders. Mariners should seek safe harbor and shelter.

Additionally, mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected from high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff for several days following a storm.

Media interested in conducting interviews with the Coast Guard regarding preparations for the impending storms should contact the Coast Guard 14th District public affairs office at 808-525-3230.

Hurricane ManualA PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Message – Hurricane Madeline Update

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a Hurricane Madeline update for Monday, August 29th at 11 AM.
madeline7A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in Hawaii County within the next 48 hours.

As of 11 AM today the National Weather Service reports Hurricane Madeline is located about 630 miles east of Hilo. Madeline strengthened overnight, and sustained winds are 115 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Madeline is moving to the west-northwest at 10 miles per hour. Effects of the storm are expected to be felt as early as Wednesday, including heavy rains, high surf, and high wind.

In preparation for Hurricane Madeline, the public is advised to be StormReady.

Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight with fresh batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any medication or supplies specific to you or your family members.

Plan how to communicate with family members. Create an evacuation plan for your household. Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.

Keep your vehicle fueled and cell phone charged.

Find more StormReady tips and sign up for notifications at hawaiicounty.gov.

Civil Defense will maintain close communications with the National Weather Service and monitor the system. Continue to monitor your local radio broadcasts for up-to-date information.

Interior Department and Senator Brian Schatz Announce Additional Federal Support to Combat Rapid Ohia Death

In response to a request from Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), the U.S. Department of the Interior announced today $497,000 in additional federal funding to combat a tree-killing fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ohia Death (ROD), a disease that threatens the State’s tropical forests and delicate ecosystems which could jeopardize local water supplies and Hawai‘i’s economic vitality. The funding comes on the eve of the World Conservation Congress that is convening for the first time in the United States this week in Honolulu.

Rapid Ohia Death

Today’s funding announcement immediately activates an Early Detection Rapid Response Team (EDRR Team) and leverages another $673,000 of in-kind Federal contributions to suppress or contain a disease that potentially could have enormous biological, economic, social and cultural repercussions for the Aloha State. The EDRR Team comprised of Federal and state agencies and a consortium of scientists will immediately begin to conduct field surveys for the disease, support critical research to pioneer adaptive treatment protocols and complete assessments of those treatments.

“Rapid ‘Ohia Death is a biosecurity issue that warrants urgent action. It threatens to leave Hawai‘i’s forests, ecosystems, watersheds and commerce in a vulnerable state. Agencies must work together to generate the science needed to support decisive decisions,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kristen J. Sarri. “Our funding will enable this to happen. An Early Detection and Rapid Response Team will identify and rapidly respond to diseased trees while pioneering effective treatment options that will preserve the cultural significance of the ‘ohia for Native Hawaiians and enable the species to continue to provide countless ecological benefits to the State for generations to come. What we learn from this interagency approach will be applicable to addressing other invasive species of priority concern, in Hawai’i and across the United States.”

“This is an ecological emergency, and it requires everyone working together to save Hawai‘i Island’s native forests. I’m pleased to see our federal partners step up to help. The additional funding will make a big difference, and it will give us the tools to understand the disease, develop better management responses, and protect our ‘ohia,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI).

At the invitation of Senator Schatz, Sarri is attending a summit today with scientific experts, leaders from the conservation community and government leaders to better understand the current status of ROD management and science, discuss developments, and identify the most pressing opportunities to make progress.

The fungal disease is attacking and killing the ‘ohia lehua, a tree species sacred to Native Hawaiians that covers nearly one million acres in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is a keystone species for 60% of Hawai‘i’s forests and is integral to keeping the State’s delicate ecosystem in balance. The fungus causing ROD, first identified in 2014, already claimed 38,000 acres of trees on Hawai‘i Island where nearly two-thirds of the tree species lives. Scientists and resource managers worry that ROD will continue to ravage Hawai‘i Island’s forests and spread to other islands. This could potentially decimate habitat for many rare, threatened and endangered species, as well as jeopardize water resources and native cultural practices unless immediate interventions are implemented, including strengthening early detection and rapid response actions.

The disease was first confirmed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Hawai‘i (UH). The State of Hawai‘i responded quickly by implementing an emergency ban on the movement of ‘ohia plant parts and soil interisland and intrastate, and requesting further assistance. Immediately, numerous agencies and organizations at the local, state and federal levels, including USFS, ARS, UH and Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formed a working group to improve detection, understand the spread and develop mitigation measures for ROD.

This multi-organizational effort facilitated sharing information, coordinated research and resource management and spurred public education and outreach efforts. As a result of these efforts, scientists were able to identify a fungus as the cause of the ‘ohia tree’s mortality, as well as develop methods to detect the fungal agent, and are tracking the spread of the disease. Hawai‘i mapped the location of diseased trees and instituted biosecurity measures to contain the spread of ROD, as well as kicked off a major public education effort to better inform landowners, resource managers and the general public about the disease.

The Federal government is committed to improving its ability to prevent invasive species from impacting national assets. The President’s Priority Agenda on enhancing climate resilience called for a national framework for the early detection of and response to invasive species. In response, an interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response was released last February. The recommendations in that report have since been taken up as priority actions in the recently adopted 2016-2018 National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Management Plan. Implementation of the Management Plan is already in progress. Assessments are being conducted of the Federal authorities, programmatic structures and technical capacities needed to support a national program for the early detection of and rapid response to invasive species. NISC anticipates releasing the findings in early 2017.

Hurricane WATCH Issued for Hawaii County

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Hawaii County.

Hurricane Madeline2

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A Hurricane Watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds… conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Interests elsewhere in the main Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Madeline. Watches may be required for additional Hawaiian Islands later today or tonight.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 145.5 West. Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A gradual turn toward the west is expected by Tuesday, with little change in forward speed.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Madeline is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in intensity is expected through Tuesday, with weakening forecast thereafter.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 966 mb (28.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND: Winds to hurricane force are possible over Hawaii County on Wednesday.

SURF: Swells generated by Madeline are expected to reach the Hawaiian Islands over the next couple of days, possibly becoming damaging along some coastlines Wednesday and Thursday.

RAIN: Heavy rains associated with Madeline may reach Hawaii County on Wednesday, and may impact other Hawaiian Islands Wednesday night and Thursday.

Tropical Storm Madeline Update

At 500 PM HST (0300 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Madeline was located near latitude 17.4 North, longitude 143.1 West. Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through Monday with a gradual turn toward the west Monday night and Tuesday.

madeline6Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts.  Madeline is expected to strengthen a bit tonight and Monday before beginning to weaken on Tuesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 997 mb (29.44 inches).

Growing Native Plants for Species Recovery and to Protect Land and Watersheds

When Silene perlmanii, an extremely rare small shrub with delicate white flowers, was discovered on O‘ahu by botanist Steve Perlman in 1987, just 20 individuals remained in the wild. Within three years, only 6 plants remained, dwindling to a single individual by 1994. The decline of this species at the last known wild site has been attributed to aggressive weeds and introduced ungulates damaging the habitat.

native plants

According to Hawai‘i state botanist Maggie Sporck-Koehler, “This situation is not uncommon in Hawai‘i, which has the unfortunate distinction of having an extremely rare flora, and is often referred to as the ‘endangered species capital of the world.’” Hawai‘i’s flora is exceptionally unique with approximately 90% of flowering plants and 70% ferns found nowhere else on earth.

All that is preventing the loss of these unique species forever is a small group of dedicated conservationists, including the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), which conducts several types of plant conservation activities with the help of partners statewide, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawai‘i Rare Plant Restoration Group, and Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i.

One significant component to DOFAW’s ongoing plant conservation and habitat protection projects are the state-run plant nurseries. The rarest plant species are grown in the state’s mid-elevation rare plant facilities located on Hawai‘i island, Maui, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i.

DOFAW district botanists and experts from one of DOFAW’s most highly specialized conservation partners, the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP), carefully and strategically collect from rare plants in the wild, in places where natural plant regeneration is not occurring due to a variety of threats. Some of the seeds and other propagules collected by these expert botanists are taken to those nursery facilities to be grown and eventually outplanted back into protected areas in the wild.

The ultimate goal of DOFAW’s district botanists and the PEPP coordinators is to keep rare and imperiled species from declining further and to help restore these species and ensure their survival long into the future. In the case of PEPP, preventing extinctions is their highest priority, with a focus on species with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild. The mid-elevation rare plant facilities propagate primarily state and federally listed threatened and endangered (T&E) species.

In the case of Silene perlmanii and many other species, seed collections were made just in time. According to O‘ahu PEPP coordinator Susan Ching Harbin, outplantings of these nursery-grown specimens have been occurring since 2002 thanks to initial work done by the National Tropical Botanical Garden. In recent years, PEPP has planted over 100 individuals of this species in two locations in the southern Wai‘anae mountains, with another 100 to be planted out this coming fall. Says Ching Harbin, “Outplants are looking great. One of the outplanting sites has some natural regeneration (although the numbers are very small).”

While preventing extinctions is one of the important jobs performed by DOFAW and its partners, supporting restoration of ecosystem structure and function is another task of state nurseries. They also propagate many different species of native plants, some T&E, some common species, and numerous trees for windbreak purposes. The State Tree Nursery provides high quality native tree species and windbreak trees and plants for both the public and DLNR-state sponsored out-plantings and reforestation projects.

DOFAW and partners use state-propagated native plants to help restore natural areas on a large scale in the Nakula Natural Area Reserve and Kahikinui Forest Reserve on Maui. The leeward south slopes of Haleakala were once covered in koa-‘ohi‘a montane forests and alpine shrublands but many years of impacts from feral ungulates and invasive plant species had resulted in the ecosystem being reduced to eroded grasslands with scattered trees. Without trees to capture the moisture, streams which used to flow have dried up. Within Nakula, DOFAW staff and partners have restored over 97 acres of the degraded land with over 64,000 Hawaiian native plants, subsequent to fencing and removal of feral cattle, goats, deer, and pigs. In neighboring Kahikinui, another 50,000 native plants have been planted, with high levels of survivorship.

Several important native Hawaiian tree species (some examples of these are koa, mamane, wiliwili, ‘iliahi, naio, and kolea lau nui) as well as several native species of shrubs, vines, and herbaceous understory plants (e.g. ‘ilima, maiapilo, ‘u‘ulei, pilo, ‘a‘ali‘i) have been successfully propagated and outplanted into highest priority restoration sites. By reforesting degraded areas which have lost their native Hawaiian biodiversity of plants, this work will allow for their recovery, and also the recovery of the birds, snails, and other invertebrates that are native residents of these areas.

DLNR & YOU-Growing Native Plants to Protect Forests & Watersheds from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

As a member agency, DOFAW supports the Hawai’i Rare Plant Restoration Group’s recently released Hawai‘i Rare Plant Code of Conduct to help guide forest visitors. A link to it is listed below under resources.

Tropical Storm Madeline Update

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Madeline was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 141.9 West. Madeline is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through Monday with a gradual turn toward the west Monday night and Tuesday.

madeline5Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts.  Madeline is expected to strengthen a bit through Monday before beginning to weaken Monday night or Tuesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 997 mb (29.44 inches).

Tropical Storm MADELINE Public Advisory – Expected to Become Hurricane Tomorrow

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Madeline was located near latitude 15.7 North, longitude 140.1 West. Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and a turn to the northwest should begin on Sunday.

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Maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Madeline is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

Hokulea Heading to the Great Lakes

Hokulea departed Jersey City, New Jersey this morning to embark on a new journey that will take the iconic canoe to the Great Lakes for the first time in history. After sailing through New York via the Hudson River, Hokulea is slated to sail through the fresh water systems of the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence.

great lakesThe canoe will reach the farthest point north of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage when she arrives in Sorel, Canada in mid-September and is expected to return to New Jersey by October (weather-permitting).

Great Lakes1Leg 23 of the the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage gives the Hokulea crew an opportunity to learn about Canada’s parks, lakes, rivers and wetlands and what the country is doing to protect and conserve these resources. Canada has one fifth of the world’s freshwater.

great lakes2Another first in her sailing history, the traditional sailing vessel will travel through Canada’s locks and waterways exploring new territory for the canoe and her experienced crew. Hokulea’s crew will sail up New York’s Hudson River to the Erie Canal to reach Lake Ontario and plans to travel all the way to the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec to access Montreal. The canoe is expected to journey through 52 locks and under 160 bridges, crossing fresh water systems throughout inland Canada.

great lakes3“Exploration is core to what we do, which is why we are sailing Hokulea to waters where we never imagined she could go,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging society and pwo (master) navigator. “Because of Canada’s lock system and other complexities, the voyaging team has spent months preparing for this leg by researching and studying these waterways,” he added.

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Tropical Storm Madeline to Reach Hurricane Intensity in 36 Hours

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Madeline is expected to continue moving generally northwestward for the next 72 hours around the southwesterly periphery of a mid-level ridge centered near 125W.

After that time, a ridge centered north of the Hawaiian Islands becomes the dominant steering mechanism, and should impart a westward motion through the remainder of the forecast period.  While the overall track forecast philosophy has not changed, the more northerly initial position has resulted in a northward shift of the guidance envelope and the NHC forecast by 30 to 50 n mi through the forecast period.  The new NHC track is near the middle of the guidance envelope and close to the latest multi-model consensus.

The SHIPS model shows the shear decreasing over Madeline during the next 12 hours or so, which should allow for some intensification through 72 hours while the cyclone is moving over SSTs above 27C.

The NHC forecast continues to show Madeline reaching hurricane intensity in about 36 hours.  At days 4 and 5, the SSTs along the track drop below 27C and the westerly shear increases, which should result in some weakening.  The new NHC intensity forecast is a little lower than the previous one after 48 hours due to the more northerly track and is near or a little above the latest intensity consensus.

It is too early to determine what impacts Madeline could have on the Hawaiian Islands late in the forecast period.  It is important to remind users that the average day 4 and 5 track forecast errors for eastern Pacific tropical cyclones are around 145 and 170 miles, respectively.

Ensuring a Future for Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds

Two Species on the Brink of Extinction Being Brought Into Safety from Threats in the Wild

Hawaii’s forest birds are one of the best examples anywhere in the world, of what’s known as adaptive radiation. This means a few founding individual species evolved into a multitude of species. They’re also a key reason Hawaii holds the unenviable nickname of “extinction capitol of the world”, as many species have disappeared since the arrival of people to the islands.

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Most of the remaining are highly endangered and the subject of intense conservation efforts. Habitat loss and degradation, non-native predators, landscape-altering invasive weeds, and avian disease spread by mosquitoes have all contributed to the current predicament faced by these species.

John Vetter, for the DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife explains, “Kauai is the starkest example of this endangerment. Since the 1960s, five species have gone extinct, with three others considered critically endangered.

Endangered BirdIntroduced avian malaria is the biggest driver of this extinction crisis, but habitat degradation and non-native predators continue playing a significant role. Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Iniki, contribute to habitat loss or destruction. Avian disease is spread by non-native mosquitoes, which have been moving upslope as the climate warms, threatening the populations of the species at the highest parts of the island.”

Over the past two years, DLNR and its partners, led by the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project have spent many months deep in the forests of the Alakai Wilderness Preserve  searching for nests of two species, the Akikiki and Akekee. They collect eggs that are then moved to a captive breeding facility. There are fewer than 1,000 Akekee and the Akikiki population is below 500 birds. Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, the project leader said, “Both have experienced significant declines over the past decade leading to concerns that these species will disappear in the near future.”

“The creation of captive populations serves as insurance for the possible extinction of the species, while simultaneously providing young that can eventually be reintroduced back into the wild,” Crampton added.

Endangered Bird3A similar program for the Puaiohi, another critically endangered species found only on Kauai, was successful and culminated in the release of hundreds of captive-reared birds to supplement the wild population. Earlier this year, most of the remaining Puaiohi individuals in captivity were released back into the forest, signaling the end of the program. This fall, the rarest species of Hawaiian forest bird, the Alala, will be reintroduced back to the forests of Hawaii Island. The last wild one disappeared in 2002. The remaining 130 birds are found only in two captive facilities on Maui and Hawaii Island.

Significant partners in these efforts include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has contributed significant funding and expertise to these projects, and San Diego Zoo Global, which manages the captive breeding of these critically-endangered species, and plays a large role in the reintroduction and monitoring of the birds back to the wild. The Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, a project of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii and DLNR, oversees the research and management of the species on Kauai. They lead nest-searching and collection efforts, while also controlling other threats to the species in the wild, primarily rats.

President Barack Obama Announces the Expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Today, President Barack Obama announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) by more than 442,000 square miles.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), who formally proposed the PMNM expansion in a letter to the president in June, applauded the decision. This action will create the world’s largest marine protected area by putting some of the world’s most important ocean ecosystems under conservation.

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“This is one of the most important actions an American president has ever taken for the health of the oceans,” said Senator Schatz. “Expanding Papahanaumokuakea will replenish stocks of ‘ahi, promote biodiversity, fight climate change, and give a greater voice to Native Hawaiians in managing this resource.  President Obama’s declaration is only the beginning.  To create continued success, we will need to follow through with management, research, educational opportunities, and enforcement.  This declaration sets us on a strong path forward for our irreplaceable environment and the generations to come.”

At 582,578 square miles, the declaration creates the world’s largest marine protected area by expanding the PMNM west of 163° West Longitude out to the full 200 nautical miles of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, while preserving access for local fishermen on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau by maintaining the current boundaries of the PMNM east of 163° West Longitude.  President Obama will also grant Schatz’s request to make the Office of Hawaiian Affairs a Co-Trustee of the PMNM.