Funds Received to Pilot an Innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) Project

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has received grant funding to pilot an innovative Resources Enforcement Educating Fishers (REEF) project, starting this spring. The funding is provided by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Hawaii Reef

Across the island, the most common coastal interaction for DOCARE is with fishermen.  Often this interaction is a punitive measure like a citation.

DOCARE, the enforcement arm of DLNR, has long recognized the importance of building relationships with the public. The goal of the REEF project is to provide opportunities for officers and fishers to engage in activities together, such as site visits to walk shorelines and clarify state rules and regulations.

Studies have shown that when an officer takes the time to participate in something that is important to a certain segment of the community, this shows that they really care about people, not just about writing citations.

“Many fishers have asked for trainings to understand the “western science” behind rules and regulations…” said Luna Kekoa, Makai Watch coordinator for DOCARE, “…but fishers feel a lot of current training lacks cultural sensitivity.”

To address this concern, a component of the REEF project will include a newly developed `Ike Kai curriculum that incorporates relevant cultural knowledge and sensitivities, while covering rules and regulations from the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR).

DOCARE Chief Tommy Friel says, “Education is a critical component to help people understand why it is important to comply with the rules and regulations our officers enforce. Building this relationship is the means by which education is best achieved.”

For more information on the `Ike Kai curriculum visit the Makai Watch website:

VIDEO: University of Hawaii News Conference on Lab Explosion

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa held a news conference to discuss the explosion that occurred in a laboratory at the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building on March 16.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pacific Ocean Science and Technology Building

Speaking at the March 17 news conference was UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Dean Brian Taylor and Environmental Health and Safety Director Roy Takekawa.

At the news conference Taylor announced that a structural engineer had confirmed that the building was sound and would be reopened.

Big Island Legislators Secure $389.3 Million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Funding

Big Island legislators secured more than $389.3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for various projects across the island in the recently passed House proposed budget.


The proposed budget includes funding for various airport and highway improvements, Hawaii Community Correctional Center, Big Island facilities for Hawaii Army National Guard, monies for Big Island schools and Hawaii Community College, and regional community centers.

Notable CIP funding highlights for Hawaii County include:


  • $55 million for construction of Kona judiciary complex (FY2016)
  • $30.2 million for construction of a new combined support maintenance shop for Hawaii Army National Guard at the Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $15 million for new housing and support offices for Hawaii Community Correctional Center
  • $9 million for lump sum CIP for Hawaii Community Correctional Center
  • $5.2 million for improvements and upgrades to the seawater system at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)
  • $4 million for improvements to lower Hamakua Ditch Watershed project
  • $3.3 million for construction and renovation projects (Bldg. 621) at Hawaii Army National Guard’s Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $3 million for improvements to Kohala Ditch irrigation system
  • $2 million for infrastructure and building of a post-harvest facility and vacuum cooling plant in Kamuela
  • $1.6 million for improvements to the Keaukaha Military Reservation’s Youth Challenge Academy
  • $1 million for construction of a storage warehouse at Pohakuloa Training Area
  • $800,000 for construction and completion of Miolii Community Enrichment and Historical Center
  • $330,000 for improvements to the research campus in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)
  • $150,000 for plans and design for the Kamoleao Laulima Community Resources Center


  • $13.1 million for design and construction of a classroom building for Waikoloa Elementary/Middle school
  • $9.5 million for renovation of former hospital into kitchen and classrooms for North Hawaii Education and Research Center, Hawaii Community College
  • $2.3 million for covered play court at Kohala Middle School
  • $2 million for construction of a covered play court at Haaheo Elementary School
  • $2 million for renovations at Hilo Intermediate School
  • $1.5 million for track and field facilities at Honokaa Park for Honokaa High School
  • $1.5 million for construction of portable trailers for Hawaii Community College
  • $1.2 million for community food kitchen for Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School
  • $1 million for the transition from Keaau Elementary School to Keonepoko Elementary School
  • $735,000 for improvements to covered walkway at Mountain View Elementary School
  • $511,000 for electrical upgrades and covered walkway at Waiakea Intermediate School
  • $355,000 for access road safety improvements for Kahakai Elementary School
  • $335,000 to replace lighting and scoreboards in Konawaena High School gymnasium
  • $300,000 for additional parking at Kealakehe Elementary School
  • $300,000 for additional office and storage space for Hawaii Community College at Palamanui
  • $290,000 for repair and maintenance at Naalehu Elementary School
  • $285,000 for a certified commercial kitchen for Friends of the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences
  • $200,000 for covered walkway at Pahoa Elementary School
  • $150,000 for walkway safety lighting for Kau High School


  • $127.2 million for improvements, new training facility and federal inspection station at Kona International Airport
  • $15 million for repair and maintenance of feeder roads and alternate routes for Highway 130
  • $8 million for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Ninole Bridge on Mamalahoa Highway
  • $7.9 million for demolition of Pier 2 shed and water tower and related improvements at Hilo Harbor
  • $7.6 million for a road maintenance facility near Mauna Kea State Park
  • $7.1 million for improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $4.2 million for improvements to access ways in and out of Kawaihae Harbor
  • $3.6 million for drainage improvements of Kohala Mountain Road
  • $2.9 million for Keaau-Pahoa Road improvements
  • $1.2 million for rehabilitation for Wailuku Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $1 million for drainage and rockfall improvements along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $1 million for replacement of Pahoehoe Stream Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road
  • $660,000 for the Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension
  • $$550,000 for water lines replacement at Santos Lane and Nohea Street
  • 400,000 for improvements to North Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor
  • $300,000 for repairs to Pohoiki Boat Ramp
  • $150,000 for installation of runaway truck ramp along Kawaihae Road
  • $101,000 for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Hilea Stream Bridge
  • $50,000 for feasibility study for a small commercial airport in South Puna


  • $8.5 million for a multi-purpose processing facility for Workforce Development
  • $6.7 million for reroofing and improvements to Hilo Counseling Center and Keawe Health Center
  • $2 million for land acquisition to Hilo Forest Reserve
  • $1 million for feasibility study for a new University Hospital in Kona
  • $1 million for dam compliance and improvements to Puu Waawaa dam
  • $600,000 for land acquisition and design for a community center in Waiakea Uka
  • $500,000 for an education center for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission
  • $315,000 for design and construction of the Kailapa Community Resource Center
  • $100,000 for fabrication and installation of exhibits at Hawaii Wildlife Center

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces the Worldwide Voyage’s Upcoming Sail Plan – Hokulea to Set Sail Towards the US Mainland

Hokulea is changing course in pursuit of new connections and opportunities to share the principles of malama honua – caring for our Island Earth – the core mission of the legendary voyaging canoe’s ambitious Worldwide Voyage. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) released the new sail plan today, which charts a course for the East Coast of the continental United States from her current position in the Caribbean en route to Havana, Cuba.

worldwide voyage

“We see tremendous opportunities in these ports to engage with people who are leading the world in sustainable practices, including those who are integrating indigenous knowledge and perspectives to inform the choices we make about our future world,” said Nainoa Thompson, President of PVS. “We are hungry to learn from these visionaries, and we are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of our Voyage with the communities we will visit.”

As part of this new sail plan, Hokulea’s first contact with the continental United States will be in Florida at the end of March, hosted by organizations and communities such as Everglades National Park.

“It makes sense to have Hokulea’s arrival into the continental U.S. be at a place that is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a national park focused on restoring and protecting the country’s largest subtropical wilderness,” said Thompson. “This represents an important part of the mission of this Voyage, which is to recognize the efforts and learn from mission partners such as the National Park Service, which is celebrating its Centennial this year,” he added.

From Everglades National Park, the crew will sail up to Fort Meyers and then travel across the Florida peninsula via the Okeechobee Waterway to the eastern coast of the state, where they will celebrate the spirit of exploration and honor the late Lacy Veach at Kennedy Space Center in early April. Veach was a Hawaii-born NASA astronaut who first suggested the idea that Hokulea should sail around the world to share the message to care for Island Earth.

Following Florida, the crew will travel up the East Coast making several stops including South Carolina and Virginia. In Virginia, Hokulea and her crew will celebrate Earth Day with the Mariners’ Museum and community of Newport News, offering canoe tours and dockside outreach to the public. Additional engagement stops in Virginia include Yorktown and Tangier Island, where the crew will learn about the environmental issues affecting Chesapeake Bay and the efforts to protect the country’s largest watershed.

Continuing through the Chesapeake, Hokulea will sail to Piscataway Park, Maryland for a private ceremony with the area’s First Nations tribes followed by a Celebration of Friendship the next day that will take place in Old Town Alexandria, VA and will be open to the public. From there, the iconic canoe will arrive at the nation’s capital by sailing along the Potomac River and docking at the historic Washington Canoe Club.

After spending about a week in Washington D.C.,Hokulea will sail to New York City. On June 5, an arrival ceremony will be held as the canoe sails down the Hudson River and docks at North Cove Marina.

During Hokulea’s New York visit, the Polynesian Voyaging Society will be engaging in a variety of education and outreach activities. The organization has been working with local community organizations and schools in preparation for the June visit, and expects to reach out to children in different boroughs throughout the city.

On June 8, Hokulea will be a focal point at the World Oceans Day events hosted by the United Nations. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. UN delegates, global conservation leaders, Hawaii environmental leaders, Hawaii education leaders, and supporters will come together to hear first-hand stories of the state of the ocean and celebrate the journey of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. During this time, Thompson will share progress on the declarations and commitments to action entrusted to Hokulea during the Voyage from the UN Secretary General, world leaders, and communities.

“New York City will be a pivotal point of the Worldwide Voyage,” said Thompson. “This is the place where we will bring together many of our partners and fellow ocean protectors, and we will be able to reflect, celebrate and thank everyone who has supported our mission,” he added.

While in New York City, Hokulea also will participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, which is the East Coast’s largest Pacific Islands festival and one of the world’s most competitive outrigger races.

Hokulea is expected to depart New York City on June 18 for several engagements in the New England states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Worldwide Voyage collaborators for this sail plan engagement include the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, UNESCO, American Canoe Association, Halawai NY, Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and National Geographic Society among many others. PVS is working with U.S. East Coast schools to create opportunities for educational exchanges, and will open a door for Hawaii educators and students to join in these partnerships and engagement opportunities.