Category Archives for "Hawaiian Ecosystems"

July 11, 2017

SB1240 Reef Wildlife Bill is threatened with a veto


SB1240 requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to submit proposed legislation by the 2019 regular session including a definition of “sustainable”, a policy for sustainable collection practices of near shore aquatic life, a process for determining limits on collection practices of near shore aquatic life, and any additional resources required by the department. It also prohibits issuance of new aquarium permits, transfer of current permits subject to certain provisions, and renewal of permits that have not been renewed for five or more years.

This article in Civil Beat gives a fair summary of the issue.

Thanks to our Democratic Representatives and Senators and a lot of hard work by the public, it passed the legislature and now sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Governor Ige, however, has listed SB1240 as one of the bills that he may VETO.

Please email the Governor’s Office and let Governor Ige know that you support SB1240. You can also call his office and voice your support: (808) 586-0034

PLEASE SEND or CALL ASAP. The Governor needs to hear from us today!!



Protect our reef

MAHALO REEF WILDLIFE PROTECTORS!! Special mahalo to Leilani. Check out her great letter to the editor:

TO DO.  Please contact the Governor regarding SB1240 the Reef Wildlife Protection bill. Now would be a great time for more letters to the editor. It’s easy. Call Gov. Ige at 586-0034. Or submit comments or a request for a bill signing ceremony at To submit a letter, go to

OUR CONCERN.  We have not yet heard back any positive news from the administration, only the negative spin from the State agency that has opposed the bill (DLNR / DAR) since it was first heard at the legislature. Despite data, public support and a global crisis in coral reef health and massive decline in marine animal populations, DLNR / DAR representatives continue to promote commercial extraction of reef wildlife. DLNR / DAR has bizarrely claimed there are no significant environmental impacts caused by the extraction of 1-5 million wild animals per year. It’s as if representatives within the state agency are in denial and cannot recognize the effects of massive extraction of reef wildlife despite all evidence. 

The agency representatives do seem to recognize the reefs are at risk because of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing for food. And while it’s great the DLNR now protects rock, coral and sea cucumber from commercial collection they have failed time and time again to protect all other critical wildlife, including fish, eels, crabs, octopus, shark and thousands of animal species. Change is long overdue and time is running out. 

Thanks again for your help!


TALK AT HANAUMA:  This Thursday (tomorrow), as part of a month of lectures about Papahānaumokuākea at Hanauma Bay’s Theatre Thursdays, you can hear from Kalani Quiocho, Native Hawaiian Specialist for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The lecture is from 6:30 PM to 7:30 pm at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Theater, 100 Hanauma Bay Rd (off Kalanianaʻole Hwy.).

Admission and parking are free.

VOLUNTEER: For information on a Volunteer Opportunity at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Battle of Midway National Memorial (NM):


APPLY FOR SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL:  NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is currently recruiting members for the Sanctuary Advisory Council.  The sanctuary is seeking to fill the following seats:

  • Business/commerce (primary)
  • Business/commerce (alternate)
  • Conservation (alternate)
  • Lāna‛i Island (alternate)
  • Maui Island (alternate)
  • Moloka‛i Island (primary)
  • Moloka‛i Island (alternate)
  • Native Hawaiian (primary)
  • O‛ahu Island (alternate)
  • Ocean Recreation (alternate)
  • Tourism (primary)

The council is a community-based advisory group consisting of representatives from various user groups, government agencies and the public at large. The council provides advice to sanctuary management on the management and protection of the sanctuary. The council also serves as a liaison to the community regarding sanctuary issues and acts as a conduit, relaying the community’s interests, concerns and management needs to the sanctuary. Council members serve three-year terms which are staggered to allow for continuity within the council.

The deadline for application submittal is May 31, 2017.  For more information and to download an application, please visit or contact Shannon Ruseborn at


Applications are due by Wednesday, May 31. 

November 30, 2016

Dangerous Herbicide Drift endangers Hawaii Residents

Governor David Ige: Take action now to protect the people!

I signed a petition on Action Network telling Hawai‘i Governor David Ige to Demand the State of Hawai`i act now to protect the people!.

The world’s largest chemical corporations are using the Hawaiian Islands for open air testing of pesticides tied to experimental genetically engineered seeds.

In the last three years, thousands of Hawai`i residents marched, testified, and went door-to-door to pass laws in the counties of Kaua`i, Maui and Hawai`i to protect our communities from harmful pesticides.  And we won, despite millions of dollars of industry opposition. But the chemical companies sued our counties to block enforcement, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that only the State of Hawai`i, and not the counties, has the power and responsibility to protect Hawaii’s people and environment from pesticides.

The message from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is clear: The power and responsibility to protect Hawaii’s people and our environment from pesticides is in Governor Ige’s hands.

In May 2016, a report funded by the State called for the following actions to protect the health of Hawaii’s people and land:

  • Create and enforce statewide pesticide Buffer Zones Statewide mandatory and thorough disclosure of pesticide use (both restricted use and general use)
  • Collect more accurate health data that helps scientists identify links between pesticides and health impacts on children, babies and families Air, soil and water testing

The State has ignored its own advisors.  The report was written by a panel of experts after a year-long “Joint Fact-Finding” process and yet it has ignored their recommendations.

We  demand immediate action by the Governor to implement basic protections recommended by the State’s own State-funded report. Governor Ige could enact every single one of the recommendations, while not affecting jobs. Moreover, the state legislature has already appropriated $500,000 to implement the recommendations of the JFFG report.

Sign the petition today to demand the State step up and meet its responsibility to the people of Hawai`i now!

Join me and take action! Click Here


November 10, 2016

From: Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation <>

Subject: Conservation Connections Newsletter November

Date: November 10, 2016 at 10:21:37 AM HST

To: Charles Burrows <>



Hello, November!

Highlights of HCA retreat:

Mahalo to all of our member representatives for attending our annual 2016 HCA Retreat, held on November 3-4th at Kīlauea Military Camp in Volcanoes National Park. We had a very productive discussion regarding some of the current and key critical issues facing conservation today, including biosecurity, rapid ʻōhiʻa death, and biocultural integration. Photo credit: Tina Lee.

New Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Website

The website now features a new look and feel!

Additional functions have been included such as frequently asked questions, supplemental information, research updates, media, and a calendar of events.

Please take a look at to learn more!

Vote Now for Team Hōkūleʻa!

Attention to Promise to Paeʻ Āina and Worldwide Voyage supporters:

The Celestial Circumnavigators Hōkuleʻa Team has been selected as a nominee for the prestigious 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award. Please participate in the online voting process by voting daily until December 16th for your “adventurer of choice”.

Please vote at National Geographic and share with your family and friends.


Second Saturdays at Hawea & Keawawa with Hawea Heiau Complex and Keawawa Wetland
Saturday, November 12, 2016
8:30am – 11:30am
Helping hands needed to maintain new native plantings by weeding out invasive species, and work upland by spreading mulch, hand-pulling weeds, and bagging green waste. Keawawa wetland is located mauka on Hawaiʻi Kai Drive close to the Keahole Street intersection. Tools, water and snacks provided. Bring reusable H2O bottle. Limited supply of gloves (bring if you can), plus wear closed shoes, long pants, sun block, and sunglasses.

Heʻeia Estuary Restoration
with Hui o Koʻolaupoko
November 19th
9am – 12pm
This project aims to improve water quality and increase habitat for native aquatic animal species by removing invasive mangrove and replanting native Hawaiian species along a portion of the He’eia Stream Estuary. As of February 2016, removal of mangroves and other invasive plants at this project site is nearly complete. Out-planting of native plants has just begun! RSVP required.

DOFAW Wetland Volunteer Day
Saturday, November 19, 2016
9am – 11:30am
Join us for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s (DOFAW) Wetland Volunteer Day from 9a – 11:30am. The site location is at Pouhala marsh. Volunteers will be helping to out-plant native species. Come support some of Hawaii’s most endangered waterbirds and wetland plants! RSVP required.

For more up to date information about volunteer opportunities, visit Conservation Connections


The final Free National Park Entrance Day is set for November 11th, Veterans Day. This is the last fee-free day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service that was founded in August 25th, 1916.
Concurrently, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as it was a predecessor to the establishment of the National Park Service just few weeks earlier in August 1st, 1916. The three National Parks in Hawaiʻi offering free entrance include Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Puʻuhonua o Honaunau, and Haleakalā National Park.
The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management Fall 2016 Seminar Series Presents:
Bringing Back Koa
Wednesday, November 16th at 3:30pm
St. John Rm. 11, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Dr. J. B. Friday will present his work on the silviculture of Koa and its role in restoration of native forests. Open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
October 20, 2016

Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Draft Master Plan EISPN

Aloha Friends and Supporters of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Draft Master Plan,

mtolomanaThis plan incorporates most of the features of the Community Plan developed in the 1950s when developers wanted to turn Kawainui Marsh into another Hawaii Kai. I have worked 30 years to establish a management plan for Kawainui Marsh.  The current Master Plan takes the plan I have worked so long to see implemented and incorporates almost everything proposed in that original plan into the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Master Plan. This is the plan the Kailua Community envisioned 60 years ago and I support it.

I urge you to reject the misinformation being circulated by those who oppose the Plan and study the Plan for yourself.  Look at what is proposed and what is currently there. Ask your self, “Which do I prefer?” You can view the plan by clicking here.

The latest development in the planning process is the issuance of the EIS Preparation Notice. The opportunity for public comment closes on October 24, 2016—just a few days away. It is critical that we move quickly through this Public Notice process in order that the EIS Draft can commence. It will be at the time of the issue of the EIS Draft that the public will be able to comment on the details of the plan and decide what can be supported and what is not acceptable. For now, we ask that you express your support by e-mailing the letter below (or revise as needed) with your name and contact information: 

I support the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Plan in its entirety because of the following invaluable educational, recreational, cultural, and environmental gains:

*The plan would accomplish the restoration of the wetland ponds, thus opening up areas for endangered birds, fish, and estuary organisms.

*The master plan would enhance educational access and quality by providing education facilities, trails, and viewing platforms for hands-on learning experiences.

*The marsh plan recognizes that the Hawaiian presence, along with native Hawaiian cultural/educational centers at the marsh, is the key to its restoration and preservation, the continuation of educational and stewardship programs, and preservation of cultural sites there.

The plan confirms, not denigrates, this wetland and will restore it to some of its ancient pre-eminence. It has survived all the centuries of use, neglect and abuse, but still functions as a living organism, waiting to be restored to fuller utilization. It deserves to be shared, not fenced off, or relegated to secondary status. It deserves the respect and restorative efforts that the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Plan provides and sanctions.

Three important things the Master plan fails to address are:

  1. Food sustainability and the potential to grow native foods in and around the marshes and
  2. Establishment of minimum stream flows required to maintain the health of the marsh and its tributary streams as required by HRS § 174C-71 protection of instream uses.
  3. US Army Corps of Engineers and DOFAW need to construct an underground conduit passage for the flow of water from Kawainui into the Hamakua Canal to re-establish water flow and improve the water circulation and health of Ka’elepulu Stream.

We are:

  • Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi
  • Conservation Council For Hawaii
  • Hui Kailua-Kawainui Ka Wai Ola
  • Kailua Historical Society
  • Pacific American Foundation

Submit your testimony to:
HHF Planners
Ronald A. Sato, AICP, Senior Associate

State of Hawai‘i
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Department of Land and Natural Resources
Ms. Marigold Zoll, O‘ahu Forestry and Wildlife Manager

Kokua malama a’ina. Know what is happening to conservation efforts in Hawaii. Join us and we will do our best to keep you informed. Better yet, contact us and share your mana’o.

Hawaii’s Native Birds face extinction

A warming climate allows mosquitos to move higher into our mountains. Avian malaria, carried by mosquitos, has caused the death of native birds wherever mosquitos can survive.

Mosquitos were introduced to Hawaii in the mid-1800s. They are not a welcome guest in Hawaii.

Mosquitos not only kill native birds, the are a health risk to people too.  Mosquitos are vectors for some of the most dangerous tropical diseases.  Hawaii has had sporadic outbreaks of dengue fever and several cases Zika virus have been reported in Hawaii.

Modern technology enables use to produce genetically modified mosquitos that will kill off the mosquito. What better place to eradicate mosquitos than in Hawaii?  This is a far better technique than spraying Naled and killing insect indiscriminately.

Check out this article in Science Magazine documenting the critical situation on Kauai.

February 20, 2016

Native Hybiscus

Talk Story Sessions Set for Rodent and Mongoose Control and Eradication Methods to Protect Native Habitats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will hold a series of talk story sessions about methods to control and eradicate invasive rodents and mongooses to protect native species in Hawai‘i. The agencies are co-leads in developing a draft programmatic environmental impact statement, which will analyze the impacts of and alternatives to controlling these invasive animals for the protection of native wildlife, plants, and habitats that support them.

“Introduced rodents and mongooses in Hawaii pose a significant threat to many of Hawai‘i’s native plants and animals,” said Suzanne Case, Chairperson of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources. “It is important that we have a discussion with a wide variety of interested people so we can comprehensively address the damage these rodents and mongoose have on Hawai‘i’s ecology, culture, and way of life.”

“We really want to hear what communities would like us to consider in this analysis, including what methods should be considered and what are some alternatives,” said Mary Abrams, Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Methods to control rodents and mongooses in urban and agricultural areas currently exist, but those tools and methods aren’t always effective or available for use in conservation areas. This process will look at rodent and mongoose control efforts worldwide, and document the most appropriate ones that could be used in Hawai‘i.”

The talk story sessions will be held on the following dates and islands:

Oahu from 6:30 to 8 pm:

February 25 (Thursday) at the McKinley High School cafeteria at 1039 S King Street, Honolulu, HI 96814
March 17 (Thursday) at Hale Ponoi at 91-5420 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707

Moloka‘i from 5:30 to7:30 pm:

March 1 (Tuesday) at the Mitchell Pauole Center at 90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, HI 96748

Lana‘i from 5:30 to 7:30 pm:

March 3 (Thursday) at Lana‘i Public Library at 555 Fraser Ave, Lana‘i City, HI 96763

Kaua‘i from 6 to 8 pm:

March 7 (Monday) at the Waimea Neighborhood Center at 4556 Makeke Road, Waimea, HI 96796
March 8 (Tuesday) at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Cafeteria at 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihu‘e, HI 96766

Maui from 6 to 8 pm:

March 10 (Thursday) at Lahaina Civic Center at 1840 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, HI 96761
March 11 (Friday) at Kahului Community Center at

In addition to these talk story sessions, the public is invited to submit written comments through April 7, 2016. Comments may be made to either agency for joint consideration in the following ways:

Electronically: <> . Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2015–0026.
U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1–ES–2015–0026; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.
Website: click on “Get Involved” and enter a comment.

For More Information:

Christine Ogura, 808-282-9442 <>
Dan Dennison, 808-587-0407

Once the comment period closes, both agencies will review the comments received and begin development of the document. For the Service, comments previously submitted during the first comment period do not need to be resubmitted. The draft programmatic environmental impact statement will be published in both the Federal Register and the Environmental Notice and provide another public comment period for review. For more information: <> or <> .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit <> , or connect with us through any of these social media channels at,, or

The mission of the Hawai‘i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources is to “Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawai‘i’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawai‘i nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors.” For more information, visit <> or at



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