Drone Pictures Reveal Mangrove Extent

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.

Mahalo to the crew of Jan, Mason, Pepe, Joel, Emily, Marci, and Steve, who had as much fun as you can have paddling the Hulē‘ia on a serious mission without huli-ing.


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4 Responses to Drone Pictures Reveal Mangrove Extent

  1. Aloha and Mahalo for those awesome pictures from the sky. As Island Adventures Field Operation Safety Manager and owner of Native Hawaiian Conservation, I strongly agree that the mangroves is and will present “huge problems” on the river for every user as well as our wetland native birds, etc. As we tour clients up river, we have notice, just in a couple of years, how the mangroves grew in by approximately 2 to 3 feet in some area’s (conservative estimate), at that rate the river will be ‘choked’ out in no time and so will we. As you all know, the Native Hawaiians (Kanaka Maoli) always kept their ‘arteries’ clean, clear, and open for the benefit of good health. When we as humans don’t keep our arteries clean and clear, we die. So mahalo for all those who have participated and those interested in helping our Huleia river, “breath”.

    • Malia says:

      Aloha kāua e Charlie,

      Can I coordinate a time to meet with your staff down at the site to do some cultural protocol and share mo’olelo? Let me know a day and a time that works and I will meet you all down there.

      Mahalo nui for your continued kokua,
      Mālia Chun

  2. Steve Yee says:

    Charlie, mahalo for your comment and kokua on our project. The mangrove problem is already so big that we can only stop it with bigger community effort. Let’s keep working together and someday the Hule’ia will indeed breath as deeply as it once did.

  3. Malia says:

    ʻAʻohe hana nui i ke ʻalu ʻia…no task too big when done by all. This is a kākou think and will require the community working in unison. E holomua kākou…

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