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.
Nearly an acre of invasive mangrove removed! Bringing us close to 4-acres restored. We have finished cutting the mangrove along Niumalu Road going all the way down to the point. Our next efforts will focus on planting with native vegetation and maintaining the Pu`ali wetland project area, all while laying the groundwork for moving up Hule`ia to Alekoko fishpond and the surrounding watershed. Thank you to all of our community volunteers for your continued hard work and support. We are looking forward to seeing many of you out at the site over the summer and fall. Please stay tuned for an updated schedule.
Last week we went into the Island School’s 7th grade classroom to talk about invasive species and ecosystem restoration and this week they came out for a hands-on learning experience…and some work! It is so great watching these young people connecting with nature.
We also had the pleasure of working with a team from Merriman’s Restaurant – they helped to load up the last BIG piles of cut mangrove to be hauled away and turned into much by our friends at Kauai Nursery and Landscape.
We are rescheduling this weekend’s work day, so no meet up on Saturday. Will post our next workday soon. Also, please let us know if you are interested in joining our volunteer team on a regular basis to help care for our restoration area or if you want to organize a group volunteer event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon!
Malama Hule’ia will partner with Malama Kauai for one of the service options of the Volunteer Kauai Week. For this, our monthly workday will be held on Saturday April 29 from 2-5pm, instead of the regular 3rd Saturday morning. A pot luck dinner with Malama Kauai volunteers will follow at the Kaiola Canoe Club.
In the January 2017 Mālama Hulē‘ia Board of Directors meeting, Emory Griffin-Noyes was elected as a new Director. His term will run from 2017 until 2020. Belatedly, we welcome Emory to the MH Ohana.
Emory is great fit for Mālama Hulē‘ia. He was instilled early in his life with a love of nature, especially plants, by his grandmother as they tended her garden and collected likikoi for jam. He has pursed his passion of preserving the natural world through numerous restoration projects, seed banking efforts as well as the protection and promotion of endangered species on Kauai. Emory’s love of plants also extends to his collection of orchids and many species of native plants.
Professionally, Emory previously served as a native plant restoration project manager at the Limahuli Garden of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. Currently, he is a Predator Control Technician with the Natural Areas Reserves System (NARS) of Hawaii DLNR. He is working to reduce invasive predatory vertebrates that feed on two species of endangered ground nesting seabirds, the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s Shearwater.
Emory’s love of nature and expertise in both native plant restoration and predator control will be helpful in ensuring that Mālama Hulē‘ia follows best practices in all the conservation work needed to complement eradiaction of red mangrove around the Hulē‘ia.
Welcome aboard, Emory.
The work that Malama Hule`ia and so many community volunteers have done to get rid of the invasive mangrove and replant native vegetation really shined bright yesterday as we gathered with Kauai’s DOE Hawaiian Studies Kupuna and a group of Kauai weavers including master weaver Margaret Lovett.
Malama Hule`ia shared about our efforts in removing the mangrove and what we’ve learned in the process of restoring the area. We all then learn the art of harvesting the prized weaving material, makaloa, one strand at a time.as well as how to prepare it for weaving. Not only is it a prized weaving material, it also serves as an excellent food source for the endangered koloa duck.
Malama Hule`ia director and Hawaiian Studies Kupuna, Sabra Kauka, explained that this is the first time there has been a stand of makoloa significant enough to harvest from here on Kauai in her lifetime.
While we were learning this traditional cultural practice the Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) were working on perfecting their technique for monitoring fish use at this restored marshland site.
With the data they are collecting we will be able to quantify the impacts of our restoration project in improving the native fishery over the next few years. Having this kind of information should help to encourage and inform more of this type of community based ecosystem projects that revive traditional Hawaiian resources uses.