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.
2020 was a challenging year for so many around the world, but as we move forward in to a new year, and each new day for that matter, we are given the opportunity to reset and readjust. In 2021, we at Hui o Ko'olaupoko are striving to connect in more deliberate ways, to share information and experiences that will enrich lives and support resilience not only in the human communities we interact with, but in the natural communities as well.
So, as we keep our volunteer groups small and refine our virtual outreach skills, your support through digital interaction, hands in the mud, or monetary donations, helps to fuel our passion for environmental work and to share it with all we encounter. Mahalo for your unending support.
Before, January 2020
After: December 2020
For the last 2 months Hui o Ko'olaupoko's field team (Kristen, Sanna, Maya and Lane) were lucky to be joined by 5 additional crew members through The Kupu ʻĀina Corps program. From the top right to left: Michael, Mason, Chey, Jones, and Rachael have all been a tremendous help and we will miss their extra help when their term ends in the middle of December. Mahalo to our partners at Kupu for their efforts to create and implement this amazing opportunity for local workers displaced by the pandemic.
The field team also had some extra help from Institute for Global Studies interns Zoe, Trinity, and Julia, all from different states on the Continent. These recent high school graduates chose to take a gap year and spent part of their time in Hawaii, helping us in the field while learning about ecosystem restoration and storm water management in Hawaii.
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us but with the help from a few volunteers and 8 temporary additions to the field crew we were able to accomplish a lot. Mahalo to all 8 of these hard working and energetic spirits for pushing us through some incredibly hard field work!
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.