In honor of World Wetlands Day, Tuesday February 2, we have a special project to announce...
Wetland birds on Oʻahu have good reason to be celebrating World Wetlands Day on Tuesday, as wetland habitat at Kawainui Marsh State Wildlife Sanctuary on O‘ahu will soon be improved through a new restoration project. Funded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NWCA), with matching funds from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), this facilitates a partnership with the nonprofit Hui o Koʻolaupoko to create a mosaic of mudflats, open water, and native wetland plants on almost 20 wetland acres.
Kawainui, Hawai‘i’s largest freshwater wetland, is threatened by overgrowth of invasive plants such as bullrush, cattail, water hyacinth and water lettuce. These plants crowd out areas of open water, reducing native bird habitat. Efforts to remove these plants are set to start in February. The project site is located along the Kawainui Flood Control Levee and adjacent to Kailua Road.
Lindsey Nietmann, a DOFAW wildlife biologist is spearheading the project. “I am thrilled about the visibility and accessibility of this site to the windward O‘ahu community,” said Nietmann. “I hope this restoration effort brings community members closer to the wildlife that shares their Kailua home and provides a feeling of environmental stewardship for volunteers involved in the project.”
Hui o Ko'olaupoko Project Director Kristen Nalani Kane says “This will be a very visible and accessible restoration site for all who utilize the levee and we look forward to engaging the community directly with the project, through hands-on, small group experiences.”
The project will continue for two years with support from the NAWCA grant. DLNR will endeavor to secure additional funding to continue the effort. The project has received clearance from the DLNR State Historic Preservation Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for all cultural and environmental compliance.
Learn more about the wetlands of Hawai'i and how to get involved in this project.
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.