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.
Last week Governor Ige signed HB393, a bill that facilitates the restoration, repair, maintenance, and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds. This is the result of a dedicated group of fishpond practitioners, government agencies and nonprofit organizations working together (since 2012) to streamline the permitting process for the restoration of traditional Hawaiian fishpond systems. Trisha Watson-Sproat, Owner of Honua Consulting, reported that the signing of this bill means that “seventeen (17) different federal and state authorizations traditional Hawaiian fishponds had to obtain in order to restore their ponds and distilled it down into a single streamlined application making it cheaper and easier for communities to restore and maintain their loko i‘a.”
However, our own fishpond expert and practitioner, Graydon “Buddy” Keala, Owner of Loko I’a Consulting and lead author of LOKO I‘A A Manual on Hawaiian Fishpond Restoration and Management, cautions that “the devil is in the detail” with this bill. He explains that while the intent of reducing costs and streamlining the permitting process was good, the end result is a more expensive and burdensome process. This is due to more intensive best management practices (BMPs) with the extra burden placed on the fishpond practitioner. He reports that there is a group of active practitioners looking to get the bill amended. This should be interesting to follow.
View the bill here:
Learn more about the process:
Fishpond Restoration Manual here:
Eradicating invasive red mangrove is the first step in returning the Hulē‘ia watershed to the kind of vitality it once supported. Having cleared the mangrove from our Niumalu-Pū‘ali demonstration project site, we continue to see new signs of the revitilization occuring there. Here are some recent scenes at the site:
Man fishing with throw net
Ae’Ae and Makaloa
We have made some awesome progress over the past few days thanks to our dedicated crew and a few volunteer groups!We’ve had the Kauai Invasive Species Council (KISC) Crew, Girl’s Court, a program for which participants are provided opportunities to explore educational alternatives as well as cultural and recreational activities in our community and students from Summer Bridge, part of the Wai’ale’ale scholarship program for students who will be starting at KCC this fall.
Mahalo to the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Keoki’s for keeping everyone well fed!
This is a Mālama Hulē’ia Work Weekend – Please come down and get muddy with us! Sunday July 19, 2015 at 8:30am
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1, 2015) and community feedback in finalizing our Strategic Action Plan. Hope to see you on the 16th!