Saturday, November 19, 2011

Malama Mokauea Fishing Village, O'ahu's last remaining fishing village

On Saturday November 19, 2011, a small group of the MMS Tree Huggers joined groups from Sacred Hearts, The University of Hawaii, and Hawaii Pacific University on a malama Mokauea workday. Mokauea Island is located in Ke'ehi Lagoon across from Sand Island (also known as Ka Moku Akulikuli), where we met up with Aunty Joni and Aunty Kehau.
Aunty Kehau and Aunty Joni welcoming the group

Tree Huggers and others listening attentively

Unfortunately, they were short handed on steersmen so it took a while to get everyone to the island.
Aunty Kehau demonstrating how to paddle with Mokauea Island in the background

But, once we arrived, Aunty Joni shared a little bit about the history of the island. Ke'ehi means "tread upon" and before the area was dredged (starting in 1941) for sea planes, to build the reef runway, and to expand Sand Island, residents used to be able to walk from Mokauea and the other islands in Ke'ehi Lagoon to O'ahu at low tide. Ke'ehi lagoon used to be a very productive fishery and was Kamehameha III's royal fishing grounds.

After learning about the history of Moakuea and the surrounding areas, the Tree Huggers got to work by helping to weed the native plant plot.
Dedicated members Brianna and Malia working hard to clear the pickleweed

Another dedicated hugger of trees, Amy, working hard and busy

More dedicated huggers, Thomas and Pikake battling the pickleweed

They focused on removing the invasive pickleweed plant. It is edible and has salty tasting leaves (salt retention is an adaptation to living in a coastal environment).

It's native counterpart with a similar adaptation is considered to be the 'Akulikuli.

After a quick, but successful attack on the pickleweed, The Tree Huggers moved on to do a quick marine debris sweep and view of the island.
Mr. Horstman says: It's "get the drift and bag it," not "catch the wind and bag it"

Looking for marine debris

It was high tide and some of the tree huggers in training would not have been able to make it around the whole island so we stopped at the end of the fishpond to discuss the mangrove and its adaptations and then headed back in the canoes.

A couple of in-training members

Loading the canoe and heading back to O'ahu

See you next month!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Malama i ka 'aina, Pohakea Pass Road

On Sunday, October 9, 2011 Tree Huggers met up with Na Wahine o Kunia to help clean and uncover a Hawaiian burial site along Pohakea Road in Lihu'e o Kunia.
Aunty Leilehua describing the site and the pohaku before we began working

Mr. Hortsman mentally preparing for the day

Mrs. Cruz

Aunty Sheila, Leilehua, and Amy shared stories and history about the importance of the area. Pohakea Pass was used by Hawaiians for traveling to trade sweet potato grown in the Kunia area for fish from the Wai'anae side. You can see the profile of Pohakea in the mountain, the pass being the dip in the mountain or her neck area.
Pohakea Pass from Pohakea Road
Working Hard

The significant Hawaiian sites are potentially at risk of being damaged by the proposed thoroughfare and eventual industrialization of the watershed that would create a road connecting the Wai'anae side with central O'ahu through the mountain. The Tree Huggers helped  to do some important work to bring awareness to the various architectural sites and iwi.
The pile of grass and debris removed from the site

Before Shot

After Shot

After their hard work and a delicious lunch, the Tree Huggers helped to give offerings of lei and pa'akai.

Thank you for all your hard work!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

International Coastal Clean-up

Sixteen MMS Tree Huggers participated in our inaugural event on Saturday, September 17, 2011. We helped the Oahu Chapter of The Surfrider Foundation do a beach clean-up at Sand Island. We began the day with pillates on the beach before filling many bags with trash and marine debris. One group even dug up a tire! It was great to see the efforts of all the participants. From plastic bottle caps, fishing line, candy wrappers and cigarette butts to wood, rope, plastic pieces and balloons the Tree Huggers helped to decrease (even if small) the amount of trash that contributes to the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

To learn more about The Surfrider Foundation, marine debris, and The Great Pacific Garbage Patch see the following links: