Mālama Hulē‘ia is a voluntary non-profit organization dedicated to improving key parts of the Nawiliwili Bay Watershed on Kaua‘i by eliminating an alien and highly invasive plant species. This invasive plant – red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) – is attacking some of our most valuable assets in the watershed. Over the last 50 years, red mangrove has been changing native wildlife habitats in and along the Hulē‘ia River and destroying the Alekoko Fish Pond. We are working for a future when all of the red mangrove will be gone and all of our ‘ainakumuwai (watershed) can be made as productive as it once was.
This web site provides information about the Mālama Hulē‘ia organization, our history, motives, knowledge base, current projects and activities, and our vision for the future. If you agree with what we are doing, we welcome you to participate in and share our journey. Please visit our How to Help page. Mahalo.
Interactive Watershed Map
Demonstration Site Tour
The June 16th community meeting to roll out the draft Red Mangrove Invasive Species Action Plan was a great success. Approximately 25 community members joined us to learn about the project and provide input on the Plan. Dr. Carl Berg provided a tour of the demonstration site at Niumalu Beach Park, and Ruby Pap and Adam Asquith of UH Sea Grant presented the Draft Plan.
Demonstration Site Tour
Action Plan Presentation
The presentation included a thorough description and discussion of the alternative techniques that were considered for eradicating red mangrove from 62 acres of the Hule`ia watershed.
Also, the process that the Malama Hule`ia took for deciding the methods and prioritization of the Alakoko Fish Pond was also discussed. After the presentation, the community provided thought provoking comments on the Plan, including:
-The pros and cons of the use of herbicide
-Waste management, including use of wood for building and using the biomass plant
-Green jobs opportunities
-Other fishpond restoration issues, including rebuilding the stone walls
The comment period is still open until July 1st. You may provide comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to call Ruby Pap at (808)241-4183 or Sara Bowen (808)626-5210 if you have questions. We are especially interested in hearing from more people that own land along the Hule`ia River.
Action Plan Presentation – Technique Alternatives
We’ve decided to let all the dads have a rest day and are cancelling Sunday’s workday. Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there!
We will have our regularly scheduled workday this Saturday, June 20th.
View and print: Community Meeting Flyer
As we approach our goal of mangrove removal at our Niumalu/Pū‘ali demonstration site, with the last tree cut down last week, we are setting our sights on the next steps. Mālama Hulē’ia has contracted the services of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to facilitate and develop a Strategic Action Plan to guide us through the next phase of mangrove eradication along the Hulē’ia River and around the Alekoko Fishpond. We have a Draft Plan and would like community input.
We will be holding a community meeting Tuesday June 16th, 5:30-7:30pm. Dinner will be provided. Support from the community is important to us so please come and give us your input. If you are not able to attend the meeting in person your comments are welcome on this page: Strategic Action Plan, where you may review the plan. We will consider all comments (email to email@example.com by July 1, 2015) and community feedback in finalizing our Strategic Action Plan. Hope to see you on the 16th!
Sara Bowen, Executive Director
We are happy to announce that Sara Bowen has taken the position of Executive Director of Mālama Hulē‘ia. Sara brings vast experience in program and project development and management. She has a degree in Environmental Science and has worked within the private and public sectors of water resources management, land conservation, agriculture and community and economic development.
Sara will provide leadership in pursuing Mālama Hulē‘ia’s mission to eradicate invasive red mangrove and replant with native vegetation with in the Hulē’ia and Pū‘ali watersheds. Sara will serve as the main public contact and spokesperson for the organization, and will represent the organization as we build the relationships and partnerships necessary for accomplishing our goals.
Sara and her husband have lived on Kauai for nearly eight years and have a bright young daughter (2.5 yrs.) and an old dog. They live in Koloa and enjoy hiking, spending time at the beach and traveling.
Her official start date was June 1st and she is enjoying getting to know our organization, our successes and getting up to speed with our Action Plan. She loves to engage with the community and hopes to see you at our upcoming public input meeting.
Our project site boardwalk has migrated sideways and grown lengthwise several times since it was created. Today for the first time it made a turn while growing by 36 more feet. The right turn keeps it almost parallel to the Pū‘ali Stream.
Total length, by board length and segment count, is now 228 feet. It is actually feels like a pretty long walk carrying a load from one end to the other. But that walk would be a lot worse if one had to tramp throught the mud without the boardwalk.
View of the Pū‘ali Stream from Niumalu Rd. – Mangrove trees are gone
Driving along the Niumalu Road over the one lane Pū‘ali Stream bridge, the makai view for many years has been that of a mangrove forest overgrowing the stream and blocking the sight of the Small Boat Harbor and Kalanipuu peak beyond. This view is now changed forever. There are no more standing mangrove trees, only a clump of young coconut trees that had been hidden by the mangrove.
The transformation happened almost overnight thanks to the expert crane work of Larry Conklin, the professional tree trimming work of Jim Campbell and crew, and especially the super menehune work of the Native Hawaiian Conservation team. This team, led by Charlie and Tanya Cobb-Adams had accomplished an amazing feat last week of clearing the whole makai end of the remaining mangrove forest. (See previous post.)
They returned again on Tuesday, May 26, with an additional sister. This time they set for themselves a clear and simple mission: Take down ALL the remaining red mangrove trees in the Mālama Hulē‘ia project site. And this they did in one day, leaving behind only neat piles of roots, tree trunks and branches.
This is true aloha from those in Native Hawaiian Conservation. They came on their own, gave plenty of themselves and received no compensation – except perhaps a good feeling in the heart knowing that the ‘aina can now breath a little bit easier. Mahalo nui loa, Brothers and Sisters.
A clear view of the mountains from the Pū‘ali Stream
Mission accomplished – only stacks of debris remain.
They were here!
As if magically responding to the song “Where are the Brothers?” the super menehune team of Charlie and Tanya Cobb-Adams, Guy Thronas, Anson Villatora, Nalu Kapua, and Renan Hernandez appeared on Wednesday morning, May 20, 2015, and went to work on the mangrove. They just dug into the remaining trees toward the Small Boat Harbor end of our Niumalu/Pū‘ali project site and flattened them all. By the time they left, there were just stumps and piles of roots and branches. They easily accomplished in one day what the regular old menehune would need three months to do. Mahalo nui, Brothers and Sister. And mahalo to Mark Hubbard, the one old menehune who kept up with all the young ones.
Pulling mangrove out of the water and stacking