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    January 2019
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Bay Restoration Supported by Hawaiian Electric Grant

Malama Maunalua was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Hawaiian Electric Companies to support critical conservation projects in Maunalua Bay. The grant was presented by Sean Moura, Hawaiian Electric’s wildlife biologist and an environmental scientist in the company’s Environmental Department, during a community workday at the Bay.

malama-maunalua“This award from the Hawaiian Electric Companies is an important investment in the restoration of Maunalua Bay, which is such a significant, yet fragile marine resource. We are very grateful to the Hawaiian Electric Companies for joining other organizations in making our projects with the community and scientists possible,” said Jennifer Taylor, Board President.

Hawaiian Electric’s grant will help expand the Habitat Restoration Program which includes increasing community “huki” (pull) events where volunteers assist in removing invasive alien algae, launching an initiative to restore native sea grass, developing a bay algae consortium to address the implementation of restoration techniques and monitoring, and expanding community engagement through research, internships and careers. In addition, a priority for Malama Maunalua is the development of a partner-supported knowledge geo-database to be used to guide management priorities and strategic uses for the bay.

Moura, a Hawaii Kai resident who has volunteered with Malama Maunalua, said the organization’s efforts to raise awareness of marine conservation and grow community participation aligns with Hawaiian Electric’s value of environmental stewardship. “Developing the next generation of marine stewards by engaging with public and private organizations speaks to the long-term conservation of the Bay, and we gladly support that effort.”

Malama Maunalua is a community based non-profit organization committed to restoring the health of Maunalua Bay, the near shore area in East Oahu which stretches from Black Point to Portlock Point. Malama Maunalua focuses on reducing the three major threats to Maunalua Bay – removing invasive alien algae, reducing run-off of sediment and pollutants and increasing marine life. Malama Maunalua is finding solutions to these problems through working with thousands of community volunteers and collaborating with community and conservation partners and government agencies.

Volunteer board members are Jennifer Taylor (President), Mitch D’Olier (Vice President), Jean Tsukamoto (Treasurer), Amy Monk (Secretary), Dawn Dunbar, Steve Schatz and Dr. Leighton Taylor.

To donate to the organization or to participate in a community workday, visit www.malamamaunalua.org or contact info@malamamaunalua.org.

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

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

Great Huki1

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

Before and After the Great Huki

Before and After the Great Huki

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