Lava Now 0.2 Miles from Ocean

Activity Summary: Eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the ocean remains active but poses no threat to nearby communities. As of yesterday, the flow tip was about ~370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and intermittently spatter. Seismicity and deformation rates throughout the volcano remain at background levels.
hvo 725 g61
Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The depth to the lake was estimated at 26 m (85 ft) below the crater rim, measured on Sunday. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded a slight inflationary tilt. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 3,700 to 7,300 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity over the past 24 hours. The tilt still recovering due to heavy rainfall over the weekend. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents on July 22 was about 500 metric tons/day.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active. On Sunday, the flow tip was active and breakouts were active within a few hundred meters (yards) upslope. The flow was approximately ~240 m (0.15 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean; based on National Park personnel observations. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights and areas of active lava on the pali and along the flow as it extends towards the coast.

New Thermal Image Map Shows Where Lava is Active

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

Lava Visible at Kilauea Volcano’s Summit – Can Be Seen From Jaggar Museum Overlook

A long, hot hike was not needed to see red lava today. Vigorous spattering from Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake was visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as of this afternoon.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

7 People Rescued From Ocean After Being Swept Out at Hakalau Beach Park

Hawaii County Fire Department reports that seven people were rescued from the ocean today at Hakalau Beach Park.

Hakalau Beach Park

Situation Found at Scene: Fast flowing river, unable to get a visual on victims from land.  Chopper 01 located victims, deployed 2 rescue swimmers and extricated all victims to land via chopper 01

Remarks: Total of 7 victims, All victims accounted for, and extricated out of the water by chopper 01.  No emergency medical services was needed at scene.

Hawaii County Product Enrichment Program Hō‘ike

The 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP) Ho’ike will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on July 29th from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Hilton Waikoloa Village Skyview

This one day event is a celebration for all who have worked hard to support festivals, events and community programs in the county of Hawai’i. This Ho’ike will also provide a platform for CPEP applicants and grantees to network and connect with each other essentially creating a greater opportunity to grow their programs.

A registration fee of $30 includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments, a panel discussion discussing “How To Involve Millennials in Community Events”, inspiring speakers and round table discussions with industry experts and past CPEP success stories. Bo Campos from Kai Opua Canoe Club, Richard Oshiro from Island Air, Missy Kaleohano from Island of Hawai’i Visitor Bureau, and Gary Marrow the Co-owner of KapohoKine Adventures are just a few who will be sharing their experiences, success stories and greatest achievements. For the first time this year, the County will be hosting an “Aloha Friday” gathering from 4-6pm for more time to talk story and network. Register online at cpephoike.org.

Some festivals, events and programs that are funded by CPEP include HawaiiCon, Queen Liliʻuokalani Canoe Races, Big Island Film Festival, Hawai’i Yoga Festival, Pana’ewa Stampede, and First Fridays in Downtown Hilo. They showcase the unique and diverse experiences available for residents and visitors.

This year, HTA is supporting 162 community, environment and cultural programs; 18 of those are on Hawai’i Island. The results of this program include more efficient and effective use of HTA and County funds and resources, more local control, direction and management, and better oversight and support of awardees.

Good Outdoor Ethics Encouraged as “POKEMON GO” Craze Impacts Hawaii

A DLNR Division of State Parks employee reports that two people searching for virtual reality Pokemon Go figures wandered into a sensitive heiau on Kauai where a cultural protocol was underway.

Pokemon Hawaii

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Unfortunately, we are quickly seeing unintended consequences of this new application by Google, in the outdoor issues that the hunt for Pokemon characters via digital devices can create, for both cultural and natural resources here in Hawai’i and elsewhere.”

In the first week since the release of Pokemon Go, the media has reported on two men walking off a cliff in California while using the app.  This increases the potential of increasing public safety and unauthorized access problems for local people and visitors venturing into our state parks, onto our trails and onto beaches, when paying attention to electronics rather than trails and signs.

This phenomenon provides a good opportunity to remind people to practice good outdoor ethics.  Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator reminds folks heading into the outdoors:

  • Be safe.  Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails.  Follow all signs and closures.  Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.
  • Carry out what you carry in.  Leave no trace.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources  Hawai’i has to offer.  Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way,” Case concluded.

U.S. Senate Passes Hirono Resolution Honoring 100th Anniversary of Hawaii’s National Parks

The United States Senate passed a resolution authored by Senator Mazie K. Hirono honoring the 100th anniversaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui. Senator Hirono’s resolution recognizes August 1 as “Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks Day.”

Volcano at night

“For the last century, residents of Hawaii, the United States, and the world have visited Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and gained a greater appreciation for the natural environment, the history of Hawaii, and Native Hawaiian culture,” said Senator Hirono. “I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort, and encourage as many people as possible from across the nation to come to Hawaii to visit these national treasures.”

Senator Hirono’s resolution recognizes the economic, scientific, and cultural value of Hawaii’s national parks. In 2015, visitors to Haleakala National Park spent over $76 million in surrounding communities, supporting nearly 1,000 jobs. Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spent over $151 million in areas around the park, and supported nearly 2,000 local jobs.

Volcanoes National Park Offers More Tips On Viewing Lava

Visitors may hike and bicycle along the gravel emergency access route at the end of Chain of Craters Road to view and access lava as it flows down the Pūlama Pali and spreads out onto the coastal lava plain in the national park, and towards the ocean.

Visitors enjoying slow-flowing lava on the coastal flow field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo.

Visitors enjoying slow-flowing lava on the coastal flow field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo.

From Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the easiest vantage point to view this current eruptive activity is from a distance at the end of Chain of Craters Road. Visitors are encouraged to stop at the Coastal Ranger Station (CRS) to talk with park rangers, view eruption and hiking tip exhibits, and watch a four-minute lava safety video.  A public spotting scope is available to view the eruptive activity from a distance, as staffing allows. The park is open 24 hours a day.

Hiking to the lava from the park is allowed, but it’s not for everyone. From the CRS, it’s a long, hot, and grueling 10- to 12-mile roundtrip hike. Hikers can walk along the gravel emergency access route for about 3.8 miles, and then turn inland at a light beacon which marks the closest point to the active flow front, currently about a ½ mile from the route. The flow field is a rough hike, with deep earth cracks, uneven terrain, and razor-sharp lava from older flows.

Rangers placed another light beacon 4.8 miles down the emergency access route, about 50 yards inland from the road, as a suggested starting point for hikers from the Kalapana side. The county Kalapana Lava Viewing Area near the park’s eastern boundary also offers a vantage point of the current eruption, and is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hikers are urged to be prepared, and to head out in daylight. There is no trail or marked route to the lava, which continues to flow and change daily. It is easy to become disoriented after dark. Each person needs about a gallon of water, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions. Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Each person needs a flashlight and/or headlight with extra batteries.

“If you’re planning an excursion to the lava flows, go during daylight hours,” advised Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando, who hiked out across the lava plain earlier this week. “It’s still a long, tough hike, but the viewing has been excellent by day,” she said.

Experienced bicyclists can also use the emergency access route, but the loose gravel makes it a challenging ride for inexperienced riders. Cyclists are urged to ride during daylight hours only. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Orlando also reminds hikers to respect Hawaiian culture. Many native Hawaiians believe that lava is the kinolau, or physical embodiment, of volcano goddess Pele. Poking lava with sticks and other objects is disrespectful. It’s also illegal in national parks. Federal law prohibits “possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging or disturbing” natural and cultural resources (36 CFR § 2.1). Pets and unmanned aerial systems, or drones, are also prohibited on the flow field in the national park.

Volcanic gas is another hazard, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, and infants, young children and pregnant women. If air irritates, smells bad or makes breathing difficult, visitors should leave the area.

Click to view USGS Video

Click to view USGS Video

Volcanoes are dynamic and ever-changing natural phenomena. The information provided can change at any time.

For hiking tips, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/Hiking-Tips.pdf. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Monitor air quality at http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/.

Rangers Urge Park Visitors to View Latest Lava Flows from Safe Distance

The newest lava from Kīlauea volcano is drawing visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, as flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the remote east rift zone stream down the Pulama Pali, spread onto the coastal lava plain and slowly advance towards the Pacific Ocean.

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Although portions of the flows are within the park, the closest viewing is from the County of Hawai‘i Kalapana Lava Viewing Area off Highway 130, near the eastern border of Hawai‘i Volcanoes. The viewing area is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From the park side, the easiest vantage point to view the flows, dubbed “61G” by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, is at the end of Chain of Craters Road, past the Hōlei Sea Arch, where the pavement ends and the gravel emergency access road begins. The park is open 24 hours a day.

Park rangers do not encourage visitors to hike out to the lava flows from either side, but to instead view them from a safe distance. From the park side, hikers can expect a grueling 10-mile roundtrip hike over very uneven and sharp lava rock terrain riddled with earth cracks. There is no trail, and it’s easy to get lost after dark.

“There’s definitely been an increase in injuries since the 61G lava activity amplified,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We responded to calls about turned ankles, lacerations, dehydration, and disoriented visitors in the coastal lava plains all weekend. It’s exceedingly important to plan ahead, have proper footwear, and bring plenty of water, or better yet, enjoy the show from the end of the road on either side,” he said.

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Volcanic gas is another hazard, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, and infants, young children and pregnant women. If air irritates smells bad or makes breathing difficult, Broward said visitors should leave the area.

Although hikers are walking along the gravel road constructed as an emergency access route to access the flows, park management does not encourage its use.

For hiking tips, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/Hiking-Tips.pdf. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Monitor air quality at http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/

 

Tourism Relations Between China and Hawaii Deepened

Tourism relations between China and Hawai‘i was deepened over the weekend with the signing of the Tourism Cooperative Agreement between the Jiangsu Tourism Administration and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

(L-R: Rep. Jon Burns, House Majority Leader, R-GA, Rep. Jan Jones, House Speaker Pro-Tempore, R-GA, Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-CA, Sen. J. Kalani English, Hawai‘i Senate Majority Leader, Mme. Li Xiaolin, Pres., CPAFFC, Stephen Lakis, Pres.& CEO, SLLF, Rep. Scott Saiki, Hawai‘i House Majority Leader, Rep. Al Carson, House Speaker, R-ND) Photo courtesy: Senate Communications

(L-R: Rep. Jon Burns, House Majority Leader, R-GA, Rep. Jan Jones, House Speaker Pro-Tempore, R-GA, Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-CA, Sen. J. Kalani English, Hawai‘i Senate Majority Leader, Mme. Li Xiaolin, Pres., CPAFFC, Stephen Lakis, Pres.& CEO, SLLF, Rep. Scott Saiki, Hawai‘i House Majority Leader, Rep. Al Carson, House Speaker, R-ND) Photo courtesy: Senate Communications

The significant cooperative agreement was reached at the first Sino-U.S. State and Provincial Leadership Summit being held June 25-26, 2016 in Honolulu. The agreement was the end result of thorough discussions on legislature, tourism, trade and economic partnerships between Hawai‘i and Jiangsu, a province which harbors a population of 79.7 million.

“With the declaration of 2016 being ‘U.S.-China Tourism Year’ by President Obama and China President Xi, it marks a significant tourism milestone for both countries and this memo of understanding further encourages collaboration for the future advancement of tourism,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “Jiangsu Province is one of China’s most prosperous regions accounting for one-tenth of its GDP. This partnership between Jiangsu Tourism Administration and HTA serves our mutual interest and we look forward to welcoming more Chinese citizens from the province and other parts of the country to Hawai‘i.”

The summit was part of the fourth annual Conference of State Majority Leaders with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF). Majority leaders of state legislatures from across the country were in Hawai‘i for the meeting. State Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and State House Majority Leader Representative Scott Saiki were co-hosts of the conference.

“The impact of these meetings are substantial on so many levels,” said Sen. English on the success of the summit. “This was immensely important not only for building tourism in Hawai‘i, but also for furthering U.S. – China relations.  This agreement marks just the beginning of meaningful conversations and deepening state-level cooperation between the United States and China.”

Rep. Saiki echoed the significance of the meetings. “The Summit opened the doors to a renewed relationship between China, Hawai‘i, and other states to strengthen cultural, economic and political ties,” stated Rep. Saiki.

The Sino-US State and Provincial Leadership Summit is a direct result of an agreement reached between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping last September during President Xi’s visit to the U.S. The agreements endorsed by both Presidents included language specifically mentioning SLLF as a partner with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and is the sole organization that the Chinese will deal with at a state and local level.  Sen. English and Rep. Saiki traveled to China with 12 legislative leaders and a small contingent of SLLF Advisory Council members and staff in March of this year to initiate these friendship agreements.

For more information on SLLF, visit www.sllf.org

Lava Flows Over the Pali – Tour Company Begins Taking Reservations

This satellite image was captured on Monday, June 27, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

The image is provided courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image shows continued advancement of the flow towards the southeast. The flow front is progressing down the pali, along the western portion of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision and along the eastern boundary of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Over the past few days, the flow has moved at a rate of about 300 meters per day (0.2 miles per day) – an increase over the rate last week and likely due to the steeper slope on the pali.

Back in business baby. Who wants to see Lava. Come check us out at Kalapana Cultural-Tours and we can get you there. Lava is pumping right now.  "Ikaika Marzo"

“Back in business baby. Who wants to see lava. Come check us out at Kalapana Cultural-Tours and we can get you there. Lava is pumping right now.” ~Ikaika Marzo

Kalapana Cultural-Tours is now accepting reservations to take visitors out to see the lava safely with an experienced guide.

Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber Joins JCCIH Installation Ceremonies

Officials of the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry flew to Hilo to participate in the installation of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) officers for 2016-17.

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

During the 66th annual ceremony on June 8, Russell Arikawa of Ginoza Realty, Inc. was installed as president of JCCIH. The two Chambers continue to explore beneficial opportunities between the business communities of Higashi-Hiroshima and East Hawaii.

Arikawa, a realtor, has served the Chamber as government affairs chief and as a chair of the popular Taste of Hilo. He is a director of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, and a commissioner with the Department of Water. Born in Hilo, he graduated from University of Hawaii-Hilo.

During his remarks, Arikawa said East Hawaii faces many challenges, old and new. “It is an era distinguished by community service,” he said, but it is also a time “which challenges every elected official and public servant. We must be more accountable and more accessible to the people.”

Arikiawa received the gavel from immediate past president, Darren Nishioka of CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union.
Other officers of JCCIH include: first VP, Audrey Takamine of Takamine Construction; second VP, Stephen Ueda of Suisan; third VP, Donn Mende of County of Hawaii; treasurer, Joseph Skruch; auditor, Ivan Nakano of I. Kitagawa & Company, Ltd.; and Japanese secretary, Naomi Menor of Naomi’s World Travel Service. The officers and 34 directors were installed by Attorney Peter Kubota.

Sandra Dawson of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) gave the installation keynote address, reporting on the status of the project and its challenges. JCCIH has been a staunch supporter of TMT and has worked closely with the astronomy community to promote culturally appropriate scientific research.

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

JCCIH fosters economic sustainability and perpetuates the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. The two value pillars that the JCCIH is built on are the Hawaiian Kahiau (giving without expecting anything in return) and the Japanese Okage Sama De (I am what I am because of you.)

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo. It also hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit the website at www.jccih.org

Lava Flow Continues to Royal Subdivision and Ocean – No Structures Remain

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 10 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 16 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). CLICK TO ENLARGE

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 10 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 16 is shown in red.

The inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Volcanoes National Park Centennial Events for July

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public in July.

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Centennial Hike: Kīpukapuaulu, the Park’s First Special Ecological Area. Dr. Rhonda Loh leads an easy 1.2-mile hike through the park’s inaugural Special Ecological Area (SEA), Kīpukapuaulu. This forested area is considered a “hot spot” of biological diversity, with more native tree species per acre than any other forest in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The essence of this treasured habitat is captured in its name: kīpuka (island of ancient vegetation surrounded by a sea of younger lava flows), pua (flower), and ulu (growing)—a fertile oasis of flourishing plants. Sturdy footwear, water, light raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended. About two hours.

  • When: Sat., July 2, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at the Kīpukapuaulu trailhead
A park ranger demonstrates feather work. NPS Photo.

A park ranger demonstrates feather work. NPS Photo.

Kāpili Manu and Haku Hulu – Hawaiian Bird Catching and Feather Work. Join Park Ranger Noah Gomes and learn about the historic art of catching beautiful and unique birds for featherwork in Hawai‘i. Create a small piece of featherwork for yourself. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., July 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

What’s Buggin’ the Mountain? The alpine and subalpine environments on Maunakea support a diversity of native and endemic insects. Heather Stever and Jessica Kirkpatrick present their thesis research on the diversity of insects on different plant types in the subalpine community, and the distribution of wekiu bugs on cinder cones in the alpine stone desert. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., July 12, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kanaka Tree Performs. Come and listen to Hawaiian music by Kanaka Tree. Kiliona Moku Young, T.R. Ireland, Kalei Young and the Young ‘ohana will blend the classic sounds of Hawaiian music with fresh rhythms and melodies. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., July 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Centennial Series After Dark in the Park: Salt Production Sites Along the Rugged Park Coastline. Park Archeologist Summer Roper reveals the importance and history of pa‘akai (salt) production sites in the park.

  • When: Tues., July 26, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ku‘i Kalo – Pound Poi. Made from the root of the kalo plant, poi is the traditional staple of the Hawaiian diet. Experience this nutritious and special food. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., July 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Centennial Hike: Salt Production Sites Along the Rugged Park Coastline. Join Park Archeologist Summer Roper on a two-mile roundtrip hike to the extensive remnants of pa‘akai gathering sites along the coast, and learn how the residents of this area used a unique method to extract the salt – a crucial resource to sustaining life on this dense lava landscape. Sturdy footwear, water, light raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.  About 90 minutes, moderately easy, expect hot and dry summer conditions.

  • When: Sat., July 30, 2016 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at the parking lot after Pu‘u Loa Petroglyph Trailhead, on Chain of Craters Road

2016 is the centennial anniversary for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the year-long Centennial After Dark in the Park & Hike Series. To find out what’s happening throughout 2016, visit the park website. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. To find centennial events at other national parks, visit FindYourPark.com.

Meet Hawaii Island’s New Film Commissioner

Hawaii Island has a new film commissioner and his name is Justin Finestone.

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

He introduced himself as the new commissioner at the Big Island Film Festival recently where he welcomed the filmmakers to the Big Island and talked to them about the benefits of filming here on the Island.

He has only been in the position for about a month now and I asked him the following questions as a follow-up to the festival:

Where are you from and what is your background?

I grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended the University of Southern California.  I graduated with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.  I worked in television news and production for 16 years before starting a career in public sector marketing and communications.  Before moving to Hawai’i Island, I spent the past eight years as the Communications Director for the City of Bend, Oregon.

What goals do you have for the County of Hawaii as our Film Commissioner?

We want to grow the film and television industries on Hawai’i Island.  Even small productions spend money here on things like hotels and meals.  That type of spending helps provide jobs for the people who live here.  In addition, there are talented people who live here that work in the film industry.   The more productions that are here, the more industry workers can make a living.  We want to accomplish all this with cultural sensitivities in mind, making sure productions are doing the right thing and respecting the culture and the land.

What are the duties of a county film commissioner?

It’s a pretty diverse job.  I market Hawai’i Island’s incredible locations and resources to filmmakers, help filmmakers connect with local workers and talent, assist filmmakers while they are here, make sure they are aware of and respecting cultural sensitivities, issue permits for shooting on county property, and pretty much anything else that comes up!

Are there any films or projects currently filming on the Big Island and if so what are the names of the projects and where are they being shot at?

There is always something going on, whether its film, television or print photography.  Many productions want to stay under-the-radar, but I can say that the Nickelodeon show Paradise Run is wrapping up at the Hilton Waikoloa and the HGTV show Hawai’i Life is returning soon.

Why is the Big Island of Hawaii an ideal place for filmmakers to make films?

There are so many reasons.  Nowhere else in the state can match the diversity of locations on Hawai’i Island.  We have 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.  The state offers generous tax credits to filmmakers who come to Hawai’i Island.  It’s 25 percent and includes all aspects of a production.  If you shoot on Oahu, you only receive a 20 percent credit.

We have the infrastructure filmmakers need, like a world class facility, Honua Studios.  Private, dedicated fiber connections worldwide, great local crew, consistent weather all year, top-rated hotels, and it’s a very safe place to work.

Are there any large budget films planned for the Big Island in the near future?

Nothing scheduled for production at this time.

What are your impressions of our home-grown film festival, the Big Island Film Festival, which happened recently at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii?

I’ve attended a few film festivals over the years but nothing like the Big Island Film Festival.  Everything from the venues to the people that put on the festival was first-class.  The films I saw were very good.  I think one of my favorite parts was hearing the filmmakers talk about their productions.  You could feel the passion that they had for their craft, and they were just really nice people.

 

36th Annual Hawaii Volcanoes Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Mark your calendars for the free Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, Saturday, August 27, 2016!

Keiki & alaka‘i head into the rainforest on a BioBlitz species inventory at last year's BioBlitz. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Keiki & alaka‘i head into the rainforest on a BioBlitz species inventory at last year’s BioBlitz. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

This year’s festival honors the park’s centennial anniversary and connects visitors and the community to the culture, biology and geology of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Themed E Ho‘omau (to perpetuate; to continue in a way that causes good to be long-lasting), the 36th annual cultural festival invites people of all ages to engage in authentic Hawaiian cultural practices and learn how native Hawaiians lived closely to the land as its stewards. Enjoy hula and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art, and try Hawaiian crafts. Performers include Hālau o Akaunu with Manaiakalani Kalua, Kenneth Makuakāne, Kai Ho‘opi‘i, and Diana Aki, plus many more.

This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a hands-on opportunity for families and individuals to observe and document the biodiversity that thrives in the lava flows and native rainforests of Kīlauea volcano. In mid-July, participants will be able to sign up for any of the BioBlitz field inventories, which include “Hiding in Plain Sight: the Insects and Spiders of the Park,” a birding excursion “Feathers in the Forest,” and “Na Mea o Kanu o Ka Hula (The Plants of Hula),” on the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website. The field inventories are led by experts at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian culture.

The BioBlitz runs from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the cultural festival is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Entrance and all events are free.

2016 is the 100th anniversary for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. To find out what’s happening throughout 2016, visit the park website. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and to learn about centennial events at other national parks, visit FindYourPark.com

HVNP’s Abbreviated Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision Signed

The Record of Decision (ROD) approving the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Abbreviated Final General Management Plan/Wilderness Study/Environmental Impact Statement (Final GMP/WS/EIS) was signed into approval on May 24, 2016. This plan provides long-term management guidance about the preservation and use of this national treasure, UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Click to read

Click to read

Over the past several years, many people have participated in the planning process through public meetings and formal comments received via mail, comment forms, and website forums. The National Park Service (NPS) released the Draft GMP/WS/EIS in May 2015 and the Abbreviated Final GMP/WS/EIS in March 2016. The approved plan is identified as the “selected action” in the ROD and as the “NPS preferred alternative” in the Final GMP/WS/EIS. The ROD includes a description of the selected action, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, a description of the environmentally preferable alternative, a summary description of measures designed to minimize environmental harm and an overview of public involvement in the decision-making process.

“Having a comprehensive plan to guide management decisions as we enter our next 100 years is an important step in protecting Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for future generations,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

While work may start on some plan elements, Orlando said implementing the plan will not happen all at once. “It’s likely to take many years, as funds and resources become available,” she said.

The Record of Decision and related General Management Plan documents can be viewed at the website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havogmp.

Waikiki Beach Clean-Up and Scavenger Hunt

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Partners as they aim to cleanup Waikiki on Saturday, June 25th beginning at 9:00 AM.

Waikiki Beach Clean Up

The epicenter of our tourism economy and home to the states busiest beaches, Waikiki is visited by thousands daily. Although a beach sweeper comes through to clean the beaches, much is still missed and we plan to help out by bringing a small army of people as we sweep across Waikiki along with a team at Ala Wai Harbor to clean.

Plan is to meet at Kapiolani Park where we will check in starting at 9AM and visit the educational booths. Buses will begin departing at 9:30AM to multiple locations with pick up locations for the tired or time short volunteers. The most beastly of beastly volunteers will walk the duration of Waikiki.

Currently in the planning stages, more will be added to this event. Please save the date for Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s Waikiki Summer Cleanup Festival.

Shark Study Helps Explain Higher Incidence of Encounters Off Maui

A spike in shark bites off Maui in 2012 and 2013 prompted the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), with additional support and funding from the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), to commission a two-year-long study of shark spatial behavior on Maui.  The research was conducted by a team from the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB).

shark bites in maui

Dr. Carl Meyer, principle investigator for the study, explained that the Maui Nui complex, consisting of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, has more preferred tiger shark habitat than all other main Hawaiian Islands combined.  According to Dr. Meyer, “Tiger sharks captured around Maui spend most of their time on the extensive Maui Nui insular shelf, which is also an attractive habitat for tiger sharks arriving from elsewhere in Hawaii.  The insular shelf extends offshore from the shoreline to depths of 200 meters (600 feet), and is home to a wide variety of tiger shark prey.”

Although tiger shark movement patterns revealed by the latest study are generally similar to those seen in previous studies, the larger area of shelf habitat around Maui may be able to support more tiger sharks than other main Hawaiian Islands.  In addition, the most frequently-visited areas by tiger sharks around Maui include waters adjacent to popular ocean recreation sites.

Meyer noted “This combination of factors may explain why Maui has had more shark bites than other Main Hawaiian Islands, although we cannot completely rule out a higher number of ocean recreation activities on Maui as the primary cause of these differences.  However, despite the routine presence of large tiger sharks in waters off our beaches, the risk of being bitten remains extremely small, suggesting tiger sharks generally avoid interactions with people.”

Dr. Bruce Anderson, administrator for DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), said, “This study provided us with important new insights into tiger shark movement behavior around Maui, and helps answer some questions about why that island has led the state recently in shark bites.  We agree with the study’s recommendation that the best approach to reducing numbers of these incidents is to raise public awareness of what people can do to reduce their risk of being bitten.  This has been our focus for a long time.  People who enter the ocean have to understand and appreciate that it is essentially a wilderness experience.  It’s the shark’s house, not ours.

DAR will continue to work with other agencies to expand outreach regarding hazards in the ocean, such as drownings, to include shark safety information so people can make well-informed, fact-based decisions.”

As for the 2012-2014 spike in shark bites around Maui, Meyer said the reasons remain unclear.  He noted, “2015 saw only one unprovoked shark bite off Maui.  Shark behavior didn’t change year to year, and there was no shift in human behavior.  These spikes occur all over the world, and are most likely due to chance.”

Citing previous studies, the HIMB team also noted that historical shark culling in Hawaii neither eliminated nor demonstrably reduced shark bite incidents.  Tiger sharks tracked around Maui exhibit a broad spectrum of movement patterns ranging from somewhat resident to highly transient. This ensures a constant turnover of sharks along coastal locations.  Sharks removed by culling are quickly replaced by new ones locally and from distant locations.

Maui Shark Report-Media Clips from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

PacIOOS makes tiger shark tracks available online and provides funding for ongoing and future tagging efforts. Melissa Iwamoto, Director of PacIOOS explained, “We are pleased to be a partner in this important effort by offering an online platform where you can view the tiger sharks tracks. Providing ocean users, agencies, residents and visitors with relevant ocean data is our priority. While the tracks do not serve as a warning or real-time monitoring system, they are a great way to raise awareness about the ocean environment and to inform long-term decision-making.”

All of the partners agree that the more information people have, the better decisions they can make when entering the ocean.

Hawaii Tiger Shark Tracking Report: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/files/2016/05/Maui_tiger_shark_spatial_dynamics_final.pdf

Hawaii Tiger Shark Tracking website: http://pacioos.org/projects/sharks

Hawaii Sharks website: www.hawaiisharks.org

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance Fees Increasing

On June 1, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park entrance fees will increase, as part of a three-year incremental plan to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities.

Sunrise glow above Halema‘uma‘u Crater. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Sunrise glow above Halema‘uma‘u Crater. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

The 2016 per-vehicle fee will change from $15 to $20 and the pass will remain valid for seven days. The per-person fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from $8 to $10, and the motorcycle fee will increase from $10 to $15.

One significant modification to the new fee structure was based on public input. The annual Tri-Park Pass, considered by many as the kama‘āina, or residents pass, will remain at the current rate of $25 for 2016, and will increase to $30 in 2017. Based on public input, the park proposed a $30 fee for the Tri-Park Pass, instead of the national standard of $50. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

New fees are also slated for all backcountry and front-country campsites, including Kulanaokuaiki Campground, and will be $10 per site per night. Backcountry campsites will have a stay limit of three consecutive nights, while the front-country campsites will have a stay limit of seven consecutive nights. Currently, camping is free, except at Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. The new camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies. Currently, road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and $8 per person to enter the park. The commercial per-person entrance rates will increase to $10 on June 1; and $12 in 2017 and will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees will increase under the proposed schedule.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years old, or holders of the Tri-Park, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park include ongoing trail maintenance, cabin repairs, hike pamphlets, restrooms, picnic tables, and more.

The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An NPS report shows that 1,832, 660 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2015 spent $151,246,200 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,834 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $189,391,100