Welcome to Mālama Hulē‘ia

coverpage 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.

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New Mālama Hulē‘ia Directors and Officers

In the January, 2016, meeting of the Mālama Hulē‘ia Board of Directors, new members of the Board were voted in, and new Board Officers were elected. We are fortunate to have as new Directors Dr. Lee Evslin and Kumu Sabra Kauka, who are both well respected leaders in the Kauai community.

Dr. Lee (Bill) Evslin, former CEO of Kauai Medical Clinic and Wilcox Hospital, retired last year from his integretive medical practice. He remains active in environmental health issues on Kauai, and has recently completed work on the joint County/State panel examining the environmental impacts of the argicultural use of pesiticides on Kauai. Bill Evslin also paddles canoe.

Kumu Sabra Kauka is dedicated to perpetuating the Hawaiian culture in all of its aspects. She teaches Hawaiian Studies and hula (Halau Na Pua o Kamaile) at Island School. She coordinates the Hawaiian Studies Cultural Personnel Resources on Kaua`i for the DOE. She teaches many traditional arts including making Kapa, feather lei and weaving lauhala. Kumu Sabra is also involved in mālama ʻāina; as founding member and president of Na Pali Coast `Ohana, she works to restore and conserve Nu`alolo Kai State Park along the Napali coast.

Mahalo to Alberto Genovia and Pomai Kane for their past services on the Mālama Hulē‘ia Board of Directors. Pomai played an important role in supporting the start of Mālama Hulē‘ia within the Kaiola Canoe Club, of which she is president. She also served as MH Treasurer during the last 2 years.

The slate of MH Officers elected in January for 2016 are: President – Pepe Trask; Vice President – Steve Yee; Secretary – Mark Hubbard; Treasurer – Luke Evslin.  Our new president makes the following statement:

I am thankful for the opportunity to have a meaningful impact upon this special and unique Kuleana and Community. And I am excited about furthering the goals of MH, the removal of Mangrove from Hule’ia, regenerating the pride of ownership of the community, rejuvenating Hawaiian cultural values, flora and fauna, and educating and passing on to our children the importance and value of pride and ownership of community, hard work, vision of seeing beyond the trees, and Hawaiian values. MH has a great BOD, and I am ready to start our engines and begin the cutting… Hoe Wa’a Imua !!!

And so we are off to what should be a great new year.



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Island School 7th Graders Perform Legendary Cleanup

Not to be mere observers of what was happening to the Puali Wetland, the 7th Graders of Island School got down and dirty in cleaning up the place. They filled up a large roll-off bin with debris of dry grass, sticks, coconuts, coconut frawns, muddy old mangrove branches. They pulled out all the still surviving baby mangrove and Indian fleabane. They collected trash cans of man-made rubbish. They took good care of live fish, toads and spiders. They set a high standard and created a legend for what kids can do when they care about their environment. Mahalo Island School 7th Graders.





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Community Meeting Today – Niumalu Park 5:30pm

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Aloha kākou – Hope to see you  at the community meeting this evening! A correction from our last post – the meeting starts at 5:30pm, not 5:00.

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Community Meeting! Wednesday January 27th 5pm

While our mission continues to focus on the removal of mangrove, through our organizational growth and experience with our demonstration site at Pu’ali stream, we have learned the importance of continuing our community engagement efforts.  We are further convinced that it will take a whole community to recognize the importance of Hulēʻia as an important resource and commit to an ongoing investment in seeing our resources thrive for future generations.

After 2 years of clearing and replanting, we believe, the Pu’ali demonstration site is a perfect location to serve as a community hub to share the values and history of the Hulēʻia estuary.  A natural extension of Niumalu park has formed out of the clearing transforming it into a natural habitat for native species providing access for both visitors and families.  With Pu’ali stream freed from mangrove, it will need continued attention and maintenance opening up the opportunities for community connection. Focus on the Pu’ali site and Niumalu park revitalization will provide an avenue for continued community engagement and a public location the community can be proud of.  School groups will be able to help shape and contribute to the new park area in many ways including continued stewardship, ecosystem studies, planting of native species, educational signage and recreation.

It is Mālama Hulēʻia’s intent to continue the beautification of Pu’ali and utilize it as a learning site where the community can participate and be in touch with ongoing eradication efforts towards Alekoko.

We have submitted a proposal along with our partner Hale ‘Ōpio to the County Parks and Recreation Department:

Niumalu Beach Park Proposal Malama Huleia

Hale Opio Niumalu Beach Park Art Proposal

They are hosting a community meeting Wednesday, January 27th at 5pm for us to gather community input on our vision for the park.  Please join us! If you can’t make it but have comments please email malamahuleia@gmail.com.



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Mele Kalikimaka e Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!

Mahalo for your continued support of Mālama Hulē‘ia!  Warmest wishes going in to the New Year, from our Ohana to you and yours!

MALAMA HULEIA Mele Kalikimaka!

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Just Like Gardening


Starting the Kahua Activities

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At the Alekoko Lookout

Last Saturday, December 12, 2015, teachers of the DOE came to Niumalu Beach Park for a day of foundation-building (Kahua) activities. The day was partly hosted by Mālama Hulē‘ia, with Sara Bowen and Mason Chock providing an introduction to the cultural values Huleia River and Alekoko Fishpond and the challenge of freeing them from the invasion of red mangrove. This introduction included viewing the river and fishpond from the lookout on Hulemalu Road.

After that, the teachers returned to the park and helped to care for the adjoining Pū‘ali Wetland. They helped to cleanup left-over mangrove debris and weed out some of the opae grass that is spreading over the area. Most focused on taking out the grass from where it is infiltrating the native ground covers and sedges. While busy with this ground level work, there was still plenty of energy going into discussions about class rooms, subjects, teaching strategies, etc. To be sure, there was also good gossip being enjoyed. So one veteran of the Mālama Hulē‘ia workdays noted that such conversations were not possible before, when they were carrying out big mangrove branches and logs … now the work is just like gardening.

This coming Saturday, December 19, 2015, will be the last Mālama Hulē‘ia community workday of the year. Please come to the Niumalu Beach Park to help with the gardening. We provide tools, gloves, water and lunch. Dress for mud and sun. Bring a container for water and maybe a low stool to sit on while gardening.

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This Third Saturday

Work at the Pū‘ali Wetland will be focused on controlling the seashore paspalum (“opae grass”). We needed this non-native grass initially to help contain the sediment, but it has proven to be too invasive and will crowd out  the native plants if allowed to grow unchecked. We aim to control this grass without the use of herbicides by first cutting it down and then covering it with black plastic to prevent further photosynthesis.  This method has been used successfully elsewhere in Hawaii.

Volunteers are needed, especially those handy with a weed wacker. We have three gas powered machines, but if you have your own weed wacker, please bring it. We plan to work no more than 3 hours this Saturday and should be done before lunch. If you can kokua, please bring your own water and snacks, because we will not have that support this month.


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