On August 4, 2014, thanks to Joel Guy, we were able to get aerial views of the red mangrove growing along the upper banks of the Hulē‘ia. We paddled his drone up the river to about 1/4 mile past the S-turn and flew the drone, which then shot pictures at the rate of one per second. Below is a small selection of the hundreds of aerial photos taken.
For those of us who paddle the river regularly, seeing the mangrove and surrounding landscape from the perspective of a bird, is quite eye-opening. From the water, we can see how high the mangrove has grown. From the sky, we can also see how wide it extends. And clearly the mangrove is expanding outward into the grassy wetland of the Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge, as well as into the river. The monstrous problem we have now will become even more monstrous with every passing year, until some very serious action is taken to stop it.