News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.
Showing blog entries tagged as: conservation

News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at:

Got Input for the Army on its Environmental Investigations? Apply by August 14!

From:  Andrea

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii is soliciting community interest in creating a Restoration Advisory Board as part of the Military Munitions Response Program for two sites near the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area.  The motivation for the Restoration Advisory Board is to enable community participation in environmental issues on previously used military training sites.

Currently, the focus of the Restoration Advisory Board would be the remedial investigation of two response sites:  the closed Humuula Sheep Station and the Kulani Boys’ Home.

The Board will be formed if enough community interest is expressed.  The Board would be composed of community members, government representatives, and other stakeholders.  The Board members would attend meetings and review and comment on plans and reports related to the investigation.

For more information or to request an application, contact:

Environmental Divison

MMRP Program Manager

Director of Public Works, USAG-HI

948 Santos Dumont Ave.

Building 105, 3rd Floor, WAAF

Schofield Barracks, HI 96857

Phone:  808-656-3109

Fax:  808-656-1039

*Applications must be postmarked or emailed by August 14!

32 Tons of Marine Litter Removed: Sadly, the Tip of the Iceberg

From:  Andrea

The U.S. Coast Guard removed 32 tons of debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands over the Fourth of July weekend.  Much thanks to the Coast Guard for ameliorating the health of our oceans!  See the Honolulu Advertiser article:

While I am glad that efforts to clean up marine litter are taking place, especially in such an  irreplaceable, nationally protected locale, 32 tons is only the tip of the iceberg.  The scale of this problem is vast.  Marine litter filling our oceans is a global problem affecting all people and nations.  Marine litter, of which 80% are plastics, harms marine life, degrades human health, and results in tremendous social, economic, and cultural costs.

The United Nations Environment Programme recognizes this immense ocean dilemma that affects everyone.  In April 2009,   the UN Environment Programme released a report titled “Marine Litter:  A Global Challenge.”  Find the report at:

“There is an increasingly urgent need to approach the issue of marine litter through better enforcement of laws and regulations, expanded outreach and educational campaigns, and the employment of strong economic instruments and incentives,” the report says.

The report also notes that the “overall situation is not improving.” Thank you, Coast Guard, for your part.  But, we must do our part, too.

What can you do to help reduce marine litter?

  • Keep streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and storm drains free of trash to prevent washing trash into the ocean and waterways.
  • Take reusable items- and less trash and throw-away containers- to the beach.
  • At the beach, be sure to recycle what you can and throw the rest of your trash into trash cans.  Do not leave trash or anything else, like plastic toys or containers, at the beach when you leave.
  • Pick up debris that other people have left; recycle what you can, and throw the rest away in a trash can.
  • When fishing, take all of your nets, gear, and other materials back onshore to recycle or dispose of in a trash can.
  • If you smoke, take your butts with you, disposing of them in a trash can.
  • When boating, stow and secure all trash on the vessel.
  • Participate in local clean-ups.  Here’s one resource:
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Serve as an example to others.

Murky Water Surrounds Fishery Management Council's Records

Posted by alanakahea at Jul 13, 2009 05:11 AM |

From Alana:

Last week in the Honolulu Advertiser there was an article about the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, which is supposed to “prevent overfishing, minimize bycatch, and protect fish stocks and habitat” in federal waters in the Pacific. The council was found to be less than accessible in terms of releasing public documents.

At a time when most public agencies routinely put their documents
online, the council requires a visit to its office to inspect or copy
most of its available records, the report said. In addition, a citizen
must file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain anything “not normally made available to the public.”

And although there is no proof, some people speculate that their secrecy is because of misspent federal money or illegal lobbying that might show up in the records.

Legality of Shark Tours Debated

Posted by alanakahea at Jul 07, 2009 08:33 PM |

From Alana:

A proposed shark tour business was shut down in Hawaii Kai earlier this year because of opposition from the community. Controversy is now focused around the two main business on the North Shore: Hawaii Shark Encounters and North Shore Shark Adventures. There is a law that states, “it is unlawful to use food or any other substance in federal waters off Hawaii to attract sharks unless they are being caught or killed for human use”. Michael Tosatto, the deputy regional administrator with the National Marine Fisheries Service says, “Shark-encounter tours are not what’s illegal. Shark feeding is what’s illegal”, and it is known that these business chum the water to attract the sharks. Some are even hand fed.

Not only is it bad for these animals to become accustomed, and perhaps dependent on being fed by humans, it is also very dangerous. The sharks could start to associate food with humans, thus increasing the possiblility for attacks.

Here is the full article from the Star Bulletin

Support The Companies That Mālama Our ʻāina!

Posted by melissakolonie at Jul 07, 2009 06:25 PM |

From Melissa:

These guys on Maui are dedicated to helping ensure the future health of our islands. From a bamboo construction company to a new recycling center, living in an environmentally-friendly fashion day-to-day has become more accessible to the average person on Maui than ever before.

Yellow Seed Bamboo Nursery

Yellow Seed Bamboo Nursery

Check out the following article and support the companies who make it their mission to support our ʻāina!
Maui organizations promote environment throughout the year

HB 1522: Kahana Residents Still Fighting to Retain Their Homes

From:  Andrea

Kahana residents have not ceased their tireless fight to stay in their homes.  Since their homeland was condemned as a state park in the ’60s, the people of Kahana have had to battle the State of Hawaii to stay in their homes.

And, now, after the State found illegal the law passed in ’93 to allow long-term leases for pre-existing residents in Kahana State Park, legislation has been proposed to ameliorate this unsettling situation for now.

House Bill 1552 presented Kahana residents an interim solution from being forced to leave their homes.  Public process gave them a way to voice their interests within the decision-making arena.  Reflecting Kahana residents’ input, the bill would help Kahana residents in the following ways:

  • Authorize Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue long-term residential leases to Kahana residents;
  • Establish planning councils to develop a park Master Plan; and
  • Establish a 2-year moritorium on evictions of Kahana valley residents.

But, now, Governor Lingle has voiced her intent to veto the bill, apparently under the guise of prohibiting illegal activities in Kahana.  If that’s the case, go after the illegal activities as the government would do so anywhere else!  The State should not perpetuate the suffering of long-time Kahana residents who are not participating in illegal activities because some residents are breaking the law there.

Want to support Kahana residents in their fight to protect their homes?

Oppose Governor Lingle’s intent to veto HB 1522:

Wednesday, July 8, 11 a.m.

Demonstration at the State Capitol

Don't worry shorelines, help is on the way!

From Melissa:

Federal stimulus money will soon be used to put people to work restoring our shorelines and increasing coral reef health.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will send more than $6 million in federal stimulus money to support two Hawaii projects dedicated to restoring shorelines.

On Oahu, NOAA announced today that The Nature Conservancy and Malama Maunalua’s invasive algae removal project will receive $3.4 million in federal stimulus money to create 73 new jobs and restore marine habitat in Maunalua Bay.

NOAA said it also will send $2.69 million in stimulus money to the Kohala Watershed Partnership as a coastal restoration grant to improve conditions at the Pelekane Bay watershed on the Big Island.

NOAA received $167 million in stimulus funding and today announced the selection of 50 high-priority projects that will support more than 5,000 jobs and help restore American shorelines.

To read the full article, click here.

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