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HWF in the News - Archives

<< MORE RECENT ARTICLES

> Dec 3, 2015 - Hilo Symposium on Marine Debris set for Dec 3-5
> June 23, 2015 - Coastline protection brings people together
> June 18, 2015 - HWF clean-up receives crowd-fund boost
> May 29, 2015 - 2015 sea turtle nesting season begins
> April 24, 2015 - Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
> April 21, 2015 - Hawaiian Humpbacks proposed for delisting
> Mar 22, 2015 - Good news for green sea turtles
> Jan 26, 2015 - Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
> Jan 26, 2015 - HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee
> Nov 24, 2014 - Vessel lost in tsunami returned to Japan
> Sept-Oct 2014 - Turtle Tracks
> July 29, 2014 - HWF begins keiki marine debris program
> July 17, 2014 - Fencing meant to protect dunes and turtles
> June 4, 2014 - Federal Court rules against Maui County
> May 30, 2014 - Dawn Patrol: Sea Turtle Nesting Season
> Jan 17, 2014 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund partners with Bluecology
> Nov 9, 2013 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund featured in Seattle Times
> Aug 23, 2013 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund team protects fragile pools
> July 25, 2013 - Study links injection wells, nearshore flows
> July 2013 - Marine debris connects filmmaker with HWF
> June 28, 2013 - Law signed for Līpoa Point Acquisition
> June 24, 2013 - HWF sea turtle project focus of student video
> May 11, 2013 - Marine debris rests after a likely long journey
> April 30, 2013 - HWF receives grant for marine debris clean ups
> March 18, 2013 - HWF featured in NPS newsletter
> March 15, 2013 - HWF's Lamson interviewed on public radio
> March 8, 2013 - HWF Team featured in CNN story on March 11
> Dec 30, 2012 - County must reduce its wastewater discharges
> Oct 22, 2012 - Nature Conservancy honors HWF's Gilmartin
> Oct 22, 2012 - Push to restore hunting of Hawaiian turtles
> Oct 7, 2012 - 'Yellow thing' suspected to be tsunami debris
> Sept 19, 2012 - Coastal Cleanup - Get the Drift & Bag It
> August 2012 - NerdWallet: HWF one of Hawaii's top nonprofits
> July 26, 2012 - Marine debris collected by HWF displayed abroad
> July 2012 - Ke Ola calls volunteers 'Clean-up Crusaders'
> April 24, 2012 - HWF guides film crew to plastic-filled beach
> April 23, 2012 - HWF, others file lawsuit to protect Maui beach
> April 3, 2012 - Where Has All The Plastic Gone?
> Nov 25, 2011 - Subaru Hawaii to donate to Hawaii Wildlife Fund
> Nov 18, 2011 - Kamilo Beach Cleanup nets 3,000 pounds of trash
> Aug 31, 2011 - HWF researcher wins award in photo contest
> July 21, 2011 - Groups to sue county for violating Clean Water
> June 30, 2011 - Injection well lawsuit in the works
> June 20, 2011 - Drifting marine debris continues on our shores
> April 10, 2011 - Data indicates tsunami debris will hit Big Island
> March 25, 2011 - Marine Debris Awareness Week
> Jan 30, 2011 - HWF pulls 1,500 pounds of net off Kamilo Beach
> July 20, 2010 - HWF helps create false killer whale protection
> June 19, 2010 - Volunteers help rebuild turtle fence
> June 12, 2010 - County must comply with EPA orders
> April 7, 2010 - The plight of the Hawaiian Monk Seal
> April 3, 2010 - HWF organizes 'More Fish in the Sea' festival
> March 18, 2010 - Program rescues stranded sea turtles
> Dec 18, 2009 - Get the drift - Beach cleanup mahalo
> Aug 13, 2009 - Teach Maui - enrichment program for children
> Aug 5, 2009 - HWF sea turtle rescue topic of online news video
> Feb 2009 - Animal Planet's Corwin signs MRF Diver's Pledge
> 2008 - HWF featured in 'Preserving Paradise' book
> 2007- HWF President named Conservationist of the Year

Coastline protection brings people together
June 23, 2015 (Hawaii Tribune Herald) - In May, Megan Lamson, Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Marine Debris Project coordinator and marine biologist, met up with nature photographer and ocean advocate Junji Takasago to receive a generous crowd-funded donation from 255 donors across Japan.
   "This donation will be used to continue our beach cleanups and outreach work related to marine debris on Hawaii Island," Lamson said. "Since we began our cleanup efforts in Hawaii in 2003, HWF and volunteers have removed over 177 U.S. tons of marine debris."
   Sustained cleanup efforts along the remote southeast Hawaii Island shoreline are of utmost importance to the health of native marine and coastal wildlife. HWF estimates that at least 15-20 tons of marine debris wash ashore annually along this 10-mile shoreline, a direct result of single-use plastic, or SUP, consumption around the globe. The agency, in coordination with the state Aquatics Resources Division and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, work collectively and alongside volunteers to identify, mark, monitor and protect sea turtle nests.
> Read entire article at Hawaii Tribune Herald

HWF clean-up receives crowd-fund boost
June 18, 2015 (Big Island Now) - Isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii's shorelines can become a gathering place for ocean debris that has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles. Hawaii Wildlife Fund has been combating the problem on the Big Island since 2003, and a new crowd-funded donation from over 255 donors across Japan will only strengthen the efforts.HWF’s community cleanup at Kamilo Point on March 28, 2015
   The campaign "Protect the Coast of Hawaii" is spearheaded by Junji Takasago, a nature photographer and the director of the nonprofit Ocean Wildlife Society; Manu Yamashita, a travel writer; and Angela Maki Vernon, a professional surfer, raised nearly $4,000. Megan Lamson, HWF's Marine Debris Project Coordinator and marine biologist, met with Takasago in May to receive the donation.
   "This donation will be used to continue our beach cleanups and outreach work related to marine debris on Hawaii Island. Since we began our cleanup efforts in Hawaii in 2003, HWF and volunteers have removed over 177 tons of marine debris. This funding will help us plan and implement more cleanup efforts through the end of the year," Lamson said.
   Many of HWF's cleanups are focused on the southeast side of the Big Island, where 15-20 tons of marine debris is washed up annually within a 10 mile span. According to the HWF, the shoreline will continue to be littered until there is a reduction in single-use plastic worldwide.
> Read entire article at Big Island Now

2015 sea turtle nesting season begins
May 29, 2015 (By Maui Now staff) - Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2015 nesting season along Maui beaches this month.
   The public is advised to stay at least 30 feet away from nesting turtles and watch quietly, as they are easily disturbed.
   The public can also help by keeping their dogs on a leash when walking on Maui beaches, and staying at least 15 feet away from basking (resting, not nesting) green turtles according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
   Agency officials say, "the success of their nests is crucial for the survival of these threatened and endangered species."
   In a department press release, authorities said turtle hatchlings should not be picked up and placed in the ocean, as "they need to crawl on their own to set their navigational compass and increase their chance of survival."
   In addition to keeping a safe distance, wildlife officials ask the public to immediately report sightings of nesting activity, fresh turtle tracks, nest hatchlings, or turtles in trouble by contacting one of the following individuals:

   "Dawn Patrol" volunteers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service will be walking 'key' beaches each morning from June 1 to Sept. 30 to search for tracks left in the sand by nesting turtles.
   The agency, in coordination with the state Aquatics Resources Division and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, work collectively and alongside volunteers to identify, mark, monitor and protect sea turtle nests.
> Read entire article at MauiNow.com

Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
(Big Island Now) HAWAII - April 24, 2015 - More suspected Japan tsunami marine debris has washed onto and near Hawaii shores.
   According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, two large plastic bins were reported this week. Overturned skiff reported Feb. 22 at a beach near Kahuku Golf Course. Photo courtesy Lance Redding.One of the bins was located at Kamilo Beach in Ka'u. Volunteers with Hawaii Wildlife Fund removed the bin. Another bin was found on Larsen's Beach on Kauai.
   On Thursday, DLNR crews retrieved a 20-foot skiff in the Sandy Beach area of Oahu. The boat had Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers. This was the seventh boat since February to approach Hawaii that is suspected to be from Japan.
> Read entire article at BigIslandNow.com

Hawaiian Humpbacks proposed for delisting
HWF President offers comments, concerns
April 21, 2015 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund President Hannah Bernard was quoted in an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser called "Humpbacks no longer in danger, NOAA says," about NOAA's proposal to remove Hawaiian humpback whales from the endangered species list. Bernard said the recovery of the humpback is "…a success story" ... but expressed concern that getting off the endangered list will create complacency and lead to humpback problems later.
> Read article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser

Good news for green sea turtles
U.S. agency: Keep threatened status for turtles
MAUI, HAWAII - March 22, 2015 - Federal wildlife officials propose keeping Hawaii's green sea turtles' threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it would continue to be illegal to kill or hunt them.
   Hawaii has a population of fewer than 4,000 nesting sea turtles, nearly all of which nest on a low-lying island in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, officials said.
   A green sea turtle is shown on Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. AP file photoFriday's announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes approximately three years after the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs petitioned the government to study whether Hawaii's green sea turtles might have recovered to the point where they no longer need federal protection.
   But Hawaii's turtles are vulnerable to disease, rising sea levels and other threats, said Patrick Opay, the endangered species branch chief of NOAA's Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office.
   [Part of article removed here for brevity]
   Hannah Bernard, president and co-founder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said federal officials propose reclassifying sea turtles into 11 distinct population segments, since turtles in the same patch of ocean - the Hawaiian archipelago, for instance, share a genetic heritage and are isolated from other groups by vast expanses of ocean.
   In Hawaii, sea turtles forage among the main islands, but nest in the northwestern islands, she said.
   "They're true kamaaina. They're keiki o ka aina," Bernard said. The turtles remain in their region and don't migrate long distances, she said.
   The turtles' designation as a distinct population, with the help of DNA testing, allows for special wildlife management, she said. For example, knowing the particulars about a specific population area helps wildlife officials better manage and protect the species. "We're more focused on our specific populations," she said.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com

Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
New ruling opens Maui County up to civil penalties
MAUI, HAWAII - Jan 26, 2015 - A federal judge effectively ruled Friday that all four injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater facility are "illegal" and in violation of the Clean Water Act, leaving the county open to tens of thousands of dollars a day in civil Maui Countypenalties, a lawyer for a group suing the county over the wells said.
   "Any use of the Lahaina facility is illegal" until the county obtains a Clean Water Act permit, said David Henkin of Earthjustice, who represents a coalition of groups in court, on Monday.
   The lawsuit, filed in April 2012, contends that wastewater from the injection wells is making its way to the ocean, endangering the public, contributing to algal growth and harming coral reefs.
   Four Maui community groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association and Sierra Club Maui Group - filed the lawsuit to force the county to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, part of the Clean Water Act, which would set limits on the pollutants that can be discharged from the wells.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com
> Video: Hannah Bernard speaks out on court case

HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee
Jan 26, 2015 - When Governor David Ige nominated real estate developer Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources on January 23, Hawaii Wildlife Fund joined a broad coalition of groups that opposed the nomination. An anti-Ching online petition has garneredCarleton Ching more than 5,000 signatures.
> Sign the petition
   Gov. Ige justified his selection of Ching, saying, "Stewardship of Hawaii's unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources."
   However, Ching's account on LinkedIn lists his development skills as "Marketing, real estate, first time home buyers, investment properties, residential homes, public relations and budgets." It makes no mention of any skills related to public service, land management or conservation practices — an omission that more than 18 organizations latched onto in the joint statement they released this week, blasting the nomination stating that Ching "has no demonstrated expertise in managing the cultural and natural resources that fall under the department's purview."
   The statement was endorsed by Sierra Club, The Outdoor Circle, Conservation Council for Hawaii, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Friends of Lana'i, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Earthjustice, Defend O'ahu Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hui Ho'omalu I Ka 'Aina, Kupa'a No Lani, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka 'Aina), Maui Tomorrow, Puna Pono Alliance, Wailua-Kapa'a Neighborhood Association, West Maui Preservation Association, and 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition.
> Big Island Chronicle: KaChing!
> The Garden Island: Kauai groups oppose DLNR nominee

HWF ends its 2014 marine debris season
Dec7, 2014 - HAWAII ISLAND - On Friday, Hawaii Wildlife Fund ended its 2014 marine debris season loading net and line into a HWF ends its 2014 marine debris seasoncontainer for shipment to Honolulu. The HWF team loaded about 4.5 tons of net into a 40' trailer provided by Matson Navigation's Ka Ipu 'Aina program.

Megan Lamson, Marine Debris Project Coordinator for HWF, said "Most of the net and line was recovered from the southeast Ka'u coast." The container will be shipped to O'ahu, where Schnitzer Steel will chop it into pieces and then it will be burned at the Covanta H-Power plant.

This Nets-to-Energy partnership was arranged by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program to keep the material out of the landfill and create electricity with it.

Since 2005, HWF's tally for these net and line shipments is about 75 tons. > Read article online at Damon Tucker

Vessel lost in tsunami returned to Japan
Nov 24, 2014 - JOHNSON ATOLL, HI - This article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser tells Click to read Honolulu Star-Advertiser storyhow a Japanese man was reunited with his personal watercraft that he lost in the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

Three years later, a volunteer found it washed up on Johnston Atoll, a tiny island some 800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Megan Lamson, HWF's Hawaii Island Marine Debris Removal Project Coordinator who met the owner of the vessel at a tsunami marine debris symposium in Japan, was interviewed for the story. > Read article (PDF)

Turtle Tracks
Sept-Oct 2014 - MAUI, HI - Beneath the starlight, the sand begins to boil with life. A tiny head emerges, followed by a flipper. Soon turtle hatchlings - each no bigger than a toddler’s hand - swarm the beach, heroically crawling toward the sea.

Since 1996, Hawaii Wildlife Fund volunteers have spent sleepless nights patrolling Maui beaches, PHOTO: Cheryl Kinganticipating this magical moment. Two sea-turtle species nest here: honu, the green turtle snorkelers often see, and honu'ea, the endangered Hawaiian hawksbill. While most honu nest in the remote reaches of the archipelago, honu'ea nest exclusively in the main Hawaiian Islands, primarily on the Big Island. With fewer than 100 nesting hawksbills statewide, the success of each nest is crucial for the survival of the species.

Cheryl King, HWF's vice president and research director, is Maui's sea turtle expert --and midwife of sorts. She has closely monitored honu'ea and honu since 2000. Finding these elusive reptiles is no easy feat, she says. "We've identified eight nesting females on Maui, which is as much of an accomplishment as it is a reality check."
> Read article in Maui No Ka 'Oi magazine

HWF begins keiki marine debris program
July 29, 2014 - MAUI, HI - West Hawaii Today
Hawaii Wildlife Fund will begin its Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawaii Island this fall.

The program will bring two marine science mentors into 20 elementary schools to introduce topics such as ocean circulation, HWF begins keiki marine debris programmarine ecology and human impacts, including marine debris. Mentors will work with teachers to coordinate relevant student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and Common Core standards for the state Department of Education for each grade level. These in-class lectures will conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris in Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Basin.

The program will culminate with a family beach cleanup day at island marine debris hubs including Kamilo Point in Ka'u, Pololu in North Kohala, Kanekanaka Point in South Kohala, Cape Kumukahi in Puna, Kaipalaoa in Hilo and Ooma in Kona.The program began with financial support from a Hawaii Wildlife Fund T-shirt fundraiser and will now be sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.

For more information about this marine debris prevention program or to sign up a classroom, contact Catherine at spina.hwf@gmail.com; and for more information about volunteering for its next Ka‘u coastal cleanup event, contact Megan at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629. Find additional resources and details about HWF’s ongoing conservation projects online at wildhawaii.org.
> Read article in West Hawaii Today

Fencing meant to protect dunes and turtles
HWF's Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project protects turtles
July 17, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Maui News
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Area Park Ranger Courtney Brown (right) and Cheryl King, vice president and Maui research coordinator for Hawaii Wildlife Fund, bolt a section of fencing together along North Kihei Road on Tuesday morning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photoThe fence made from recycled plastic is designed to keep nesting sea turtles from cresting the dunes and stepping into traffic. In separate incidents in the 1990s, a pair of endangered hawksbill turtles were killed when struck by cars. It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 adult female hawksbills that nest in Hawaii. King said the fencing is also a way to protect the dunes, which see a lot of activity being so close to both the road and the beach. The project also involves removing the old wood and wire sand fencing that formerly protected the turtles and fragile dunes.
> Read article in the Maui News

Federal Court rules against Maui County
County subject to penalties for violation of Clean Water Act

June 2, 2014 - HONOLULU, HI
On Friday, May 30, the federal district court in Honolulu ruled that Maui County is violating the Clean Water Act by using injection wells to illegally discharge wastewater from a water treatment facility. The court concluded that most of the three to five million gallons of wastewater the Kahekili Beach on west Maui. Joe West - ShutterstockCounty’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility dumps into the wells each day flows through groundwater and emerges offshore of popular Kahekili Beach Park in West Maui, where the wastewater-laden groundwater "substantially affects the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the ocean water." The court will impose civil penalties for the County’s violations following a hearing set for March 17, 2015.

In 2012, four Hawaii community groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association, and Sierra Club-Maui Group - filed suit under the federal Clean Water Act to stop Maui County from discharging wastewater into the ocean from its Lahaina treatment plant without a permit. Their lawsuit followed years of unsuccessful efforts to resolve the issue out of court.
> Read Press Release

Dawn Patrol: Sea Turtle Nesting Season
County subject to penalties for violation of Clean Water Act

May 30, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2014 nesting season along Maui beaches next month.

As sea turtles emerge onto beaches to lay their eggs, they leave distinctive 3 ft. wide tracks behind in the sand. Photo credit: Cheryl King.The public is advised to stay at least 30 feet away from nesting turtles and watch quietly, as they are easily disturbed.

Officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service say the success of their nests is crucial for the survival of these threatened and endangered species.

In addition to keeping a safe distance, wildlife officials ask the public to immediately report sightings of nesting activity, fresh turtle tracks, nest hatchlings, or turtles in trouble by contacting one of the following individuals:

  • Skippy Hau, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources: (808) 243-5294
  • Courtney Brown, US Fish and Wildlife Service: (808) 268-6316, courtney_brown@fws.gov
  • Cheryl King, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund: (808) 385-5464, mauihawksbills@gmail.com
> Read Entire Article online at MauiNow.com

Hawaii Wildlife Fund partners with Bluecology
New partnership expands HWF's volunteer, outreach opportunities

January 17, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Hawaii Wildlife Fund has formed a new partnership with a California-based marine nonprofit organization called Bluecology, which specializes in eco-travel and volunteer efforts. Working with Bluecology, HWF will offer new student field programs and volunteer vacations for adults on Maui. Through education, community service and outreach, the organizations will work together to further the cause of protection of Hawaii's threatened species and habitats.

"Hawaii Wildlife Fund depends on volunteers to help its core team conduct our native wildlife monitoring and habitat restoration projects," said Hawaii Wildlife Fund president Hannah Bernard, adding "Partnering with Bluecology will allow Hawaii Wildlife Fund to tap into a larger pool of volunteers and thus expand the research we are doing. This is a great opportunity for people who want to give back while having fun on vacation."

HWF has conducted conservation programs and projects on Maui and the island of Hawaii since 1996. Actively engaging local communities, HWF works to protect Hawaii's fragile marine ecosystem and wildlife through research, education and advocacy.

Based in California, Bluecology's senior staff has a combined 50 years of experience establishing community-based conservation and marine protected areas. They assist communities in Micronesia, Central and South America by providing experts and trained volunteers to help develop and implement a variety of conservation programs. The new partnership with HWF will expand Bluecology's reach to Hawaii.

Volunteerism is core to both organizations. The partnership expands the ways that individuals can become hands-on active participants in marine conservation. For those who do not wish to or are unable to take an active role in conservation efforts, they can help spread the word through social media. Also support through donations is always welcome.
> Donate to HWF
> Volunteer with HWF
> Learn more about Bluecology

Hawaii Wildlife Fund featured in Seattle Times
Make your Maui visit a 'volunteer vacation'

Copyright © 2013 Seattle Times
November 9, 2013 - MAUI, HI - The lowering sun glares in my eyes as I walk down a hill above Hookipa Beach, famed favorite of windsurfers. In a warm, gusting breeze, offshore surfers wait for breakers. Looking down over caramel-colored sand I spot a dark head bobbing in nearshore waves. Not human. With my Puget Sound mindset, I think, "Seal!"Make your Maui visit a ‘volunteer vacation’

But quickly I realize it's not a seal. It's a sea turtle.

As I watch, another appears, and another, then another — all aiming at the same corner of the bustling beach.

For months, dozens of green sea turtles have been showing up every evening at this same spot on Maui, hauling out on the sand to stay for hours. Naturalists call it "basking."

"We don’t quite understand why they chose this place, but once they did they have kept coming," says Hannah Bernard, president of the nonprofit Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which has organized an effort to help protect them. "No place in the world has as many basking turtles."

Visitors can photograph the turtles. Or they can have a richer experience: While on the island, they can volunteer as turtle monitors with Bernard’s group, helping to educate others about these endangered sea creatures the locals call "honu."

Helping the honu means spending a few hours on the beach, hardly a painful commitment. It's just one way to turn your island vacation into "voluntourism" — giving back some of the spirit of aloha.
> Read entire article online at the Seattle Times

Hawaii Wildlife Fund team protects fragile pools
From the muck, healthy anchialine pool habitats emerge

Copyright © 2013 West Hawaii Today
August 23, 2013 - MAUI, HI - Catherine Spina sank waist deep into the doughnut-shaped anchialine pool in coastal Waiohinu, carefully guiding the “Muck Sucker” along the bottom. This underwater vacuum, uses a trash pump to suck up excessive sediment, leaf litter and other organic matter — all of which are fouling the unique brackish water ecosystem.

photos by Anna Pacheco/Special to West Hawaii Today

Meanwhile, Megan Lamson, Stacey Breining and Lauren Kurpita hand-pulled and removed nonnative plant species, such as seashore paspalum, by the bucket load. Such invasive species are supplanting native vegetation, taking over the habitat. Floating in a borrowed yellow kayak, Nohea Kaawa and her sister, Kaila Olson, steadily gathered the accumulating limu (algae) into a slimy pile.

It’s dirty work, but these six Hawaii Wildlife Fund team members and volunteers laughed off the conditions Tuesday as part of the rewarding experience of repairing damage and improving the environment.

Over the past five years, Hawaii Wildlife Fund has removed nonnative vegetation in and around the Hoonoua anchialine pool complex, which includes two large pools and one small pool within 1,400 acres of shoreline in southeast Hawaii Island.
> Read entire article at WestHawaiiToday.com

Study links injection wells, nearshore flows
Challenge now to figure out solution, says Bernard of HWF

Copyright © 2013 The Maui News
July 25, 2013 - MAUI, HI - The final results of a University of Hawaii study on the impacts of injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater treatment plant "conclusively demonstrate" a connection between the wells and their flows to nearshore waters.

The results of the study were released Wednesday by four Maui citizen groups and Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of the groups against Maui County in U.S. District Court for "illegally discharging wastewater into the ocean from its Lahaina treatment facility's injection wells."

"This study confirms what we've been saying for years, wastewater injected at the Lahaina facility travels underground and ends up in the ocean offshore of Kahekili Beach, contributing pollutants to near-shore waters," said Caroline Ishida, attorney for Earthjustice, which filed the lawsuit for Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group and the West Maui Preservation Association.

[Article truncated]

Hannah Bernard of the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund said that while the UH study did not look into the environmental effects of the wastewater seepage, other studies have shown that water quality and temperature "can cause impacts on the reefs." Excess nutrients can be attributed to algal blooms, she added.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com

Marine debris connects filmmaker with HWF
Hawaii Wildlife Fund provides info for Japanese video project

HWF's Megan Lamson is featured in this video created by Japanese students.
HWF's Megan Lamson is featured in this video created by Japanese filmmaker Atsuko Quirk. Lamson appears at about the 3-minute mark. > Watch video
JAPAN - JULY 2013 Hawaii Wildlife Fund provided information for a documentary created by Japanese filmmaker Atsuko Quirk about students studying marine debris washing ashore in Japan. Quirk posted her video on the website Kickstarter this summer in an effort to bring the global issue of marine debris into focus and raise funds for the project. As part of her research, she contacted HWF's Megan Lamson, who is featured in the documentary showing the 9th grade students (via Skype) some Japanese items that her team has found on Hawaiian shores through HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project.
> Watch video

Law signed for Līpoa Point Acquisition
Governor signs bill to preserve Honolua Bay on Maui


Advocates and supporters of the Līpoa Point acquisition, including HWF's Hannah Bernard, pose with the governor before the signing of HB 1424, authorizing $20 million for the protection of this area in West Maui from development. PHOTO: WENDY OSHER/MAUI NOW
Copyright © 2013 MauiNow.com
OAHU, HI - June 28, 2013 Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed a bill into law for the acquisition of land parcels at Līpoa Point on Maui.

The bill includes a $20 million budget appropriation for the acquisition, and is aimed at protecting the area from potential development.

"Let me tell you that’s no small thing," said Gov. Abercrombie during today’s bill signing ceremony at the Grand Wailea Resort in South Maui. "What that means is that Maui legislators were able to make a very specific case in terms of the public good being established and put some serious dollars behind it."

"It’s important in preserving one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawaii – I think that speaks for itself and says volumes about it," said the governor in comments today.
> Read entire article at MauiNow.com

HWF sea turtle project focus of student video
Students learn about conservation through video project


HWF's Hawksbill sea turtle conservation program is featured in this video created by Maui students.
MAUI - June 24, 2013 One of the educational projects of Maui Huliau Foundation provides after-school training that teaches students filmmaking techniques. This year's program, funded by Hawai'i Tourism Authority, resulted in 11 videos created by Maui students ages 12-18. One of those films, entitled "Hawksbills: A Path to Recovery" was made by three 7th grade students and focuses on the work being done by Hawaii Wildlife Fund to help protect the endangered Hawaiian Hawksbill sea turtle through protecting nesting areas and feeding habitat. 
> View 11 Student Videos

Marine debris rests after a likely long journey
Photo by Matthew Thayer/Maui News
Photo by Matthew Thayer/Maui News
MAUI - May 11, 2013 A large steel buoy pulled from the ocean Thursday rests on the shore at Makena State Park on Friday morning as Cheryl King and Maui County ocean safety Capt. Zach Edlao inspect other debris collected. King, the founder of Sharkastics and vice president of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said she could not positively say where the debris came from because it lacks distinctive markings to identify it as flotsam generated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "I can't say for 100 percent sure," she said. "This is a very typical selection of stuff that always comes up here. This is the stuff we've been picking up for years." She said there have been only 21 confirmed pieces of tsunami debris recovered in the United States, with eight of those found in Hawaii.
> Read entire article online at MauiNews.com
> What to do if you see marine debris in Hawaii (pdf)

HWF receives grant for marine debris clean ups
State awards grants to address Japanese Tsunami debris
April 30, 2013 - The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) with assistance from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is awarding six local non-profit, community groups grant funds to help address Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) and keep Hawaii’s shorelines clean. The focus is on potential debris originating from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
   "The six grants totaling $100,000 complement ongoing efforts by community groups that are already working to address marine debris, including debris originating from the Japan tsunami," said Gary Gill, deputy director of the DOH Environmental Health Administration. "For years Hawaii has depended on volunteers to keep marine debris off our beaches. Today, we are providing a little support for the very big job they do." The selected projects will help to reduce the impacts of marine debris from alien species, marine life entanglement, economic costs, and human health and safety. The awardees are:
   Surfrider Kauai, $25,000 (for Kauai County);
   Hawaii Wildlife Fund, $20,000 (for Maui County);
   Recycle Hawaii, $20,000 (for Hawaii County);
   Surfrider Oahu, $13,000 (for Honolulu County);
   Kupu, $11,000 (for Honolulu County); and
   Sustainable Coastlines, $11,000 (for Honolulu County)
> Read entire article online at HawaiiReporter.com

HWF featured in National Park Service news
Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Megan Lamson contributing writer
ALASKA - March 18, 2013 Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Megan Lamson was a contributing writer for a four-page electronic newsletter, Pacific Ocean Newsletter, recently published by the National Park Service.

The newsletter focuses on the Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris, which Lamson has had first-hand experience with through her role as project leader for HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project, which conducts community shoreline cleanups in one of the dirtiest beaches in the Pacific.
> Read newsletter (PDF)

HWF's Lamson interviewed on Public Radio
OAHU, HAWAII - March 15, 2013 Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Megan LamsonMegan Lamson was interviewed on Hawaii Public Radio's "The Conversation" news show about HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project, which conducts community shoreline cleanups in one of the dirtiest beaches in the Pacific. Lately, they have been encountering marine debris from the Japanese Tsunami, which has garnered international attention to the plight of marine debris on Hawaii Island.
> Listen to the Podcast on Hawaii Public Radio



Click to watch CNN news video

HWF Team featured in CNN story on March 11
Hawaii Wildlife Fund's clean up efforts at Kamilo Point featured

KAMILO POINT, HI - March 8, 2013 On March 5, Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) staff and several volunteers brought CNN news crew from Los Angeles down to Kamilo Point on the Island of Hawaii to "talk story" about Japanese Tsunami marine debris along the southeast coastline. The story will be told by CNN news correspondent Kyung Lah.CNN correspondent Kyung Lah interviews HWF’s Megan Lamson at Kamilo. Photo courtesy of Harold Leatherman/HWF volunteer.

The first part of CNN's series on marine debris will air on March 11 at 9 am and 10 am Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is 4 am and 5 am in Hawaii. The story will be re-run throughout the day. This story will appear on the two-year anniversary of the huge tsunami that originated in the Fukushima district in Japan.
> Watch Video at CNN.COM

FYI another follow-up story that focuses on marine debris problems in general, NOAA’s Nets-to-Energy Program, and recycled “ocean plastic” bottled cleaning products by the San Francisco-based company, Method, will air on CNN national and international broadcasting programs in April.

For more information, please contact HWF's Marine Debris Removal Project Coordinator Megan Lamson at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 808-769-7629.
> Press Release & Photos (PDF 585 KB)

County must reduce its wastewater discharges
Copyright © 2012 The Maui News
MAUI - Dec 30, 2012 Contrary to the statements that Mayor Alan Arakawa recently made that ocean waters near the Lahaina injection wells are safe (The Maui News, Dec. 22), bacteria is far from the only injection well pollutant that Maui residents should be concerned about.

Hannah Bernard - photo by Jason Moore The Environmental Protection Agency's recently released study determined several things that would disturb anyone who cares about the health of coastal waters, and reaffirms why a Clean Water Act lawsuit was filed over these discharges in April.

The county injects 3 million to 5 million gallons of wastewater into the ground every day at Lahaina and, per the EPA study, the majority of the water discharged from the nearshore submarine seeps comes from the wells. Wastewater makes it to the ocean in less than three months and affects the temperature and chemistry of the surrounding ocean water.

Nitrogen, phosphorous and other substances flow from the wells out to the ocean, causing damage to the reefs and to nearshore water quality. The county started disinfecting its injected wastewater in October 2011 because of an enforcement action by EPA, which may explain why the Department of Health isn't finding high levels of bacteria at the seeps now, but says nothing about what the bacteria levels were before disinfection.

Coral reefs are extremely sensitive and any changes to the environment can affect their health. The county must use the information it has to clean up and reduce its wastewater discharges. Until it does, West Maui waters will be neither clean nor safe.

Hannah Bernard
President, Hawai'i Wildlife Fund
> Read letter on Maui News website

Nature Conservancy honors HWF's Gilmartin
Marine Scientist wins 2012 'Supporter of the Land' award

Copyright © 2012 The Nature Conservancy
October 22, 2012 - HONOLULU, HI - Bill Gilmartin, a marine scientist credited with helping save the Hawaiian monk seal from extinction, received The Nature Conservancy’s Kāko‘o ‘Āina Award this past weekend at a community celebration on Hawaii Island.
HWF's Bill Gilmartin received The Nature Conservancy’s Kāko‘o ‘Āina Award.
The award honors individuals who have provided significant and long-standing support for conservation. Kāko‘o ‘Aina means, literally, "one who supports the land."

"Bill Gilmartin has dedicated his professional life to protecting Hawaii’s marine life and environment," said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawaii executive director. "His efforts to save the Hawaiian monk seal are an inspiration to us all. He is a true community treasure."

Gilmartin is director of research and co-founder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
> Read full article on TNC website
> Read Oct 23 Ka'u Calendar News Blog

Push to restore hunting of Hawaiian turtles
Copyright © 2012 Maui Now
October 22, 2012 - MAUI, HI - In traditional Hawaiian culture, some families consider green sea turtles to be 'aumakua, or personal deities. Snorkelers and divers cherish encounters with the docile marine reptiles readily found among Hawaii’s reefs.

Some Hawaii residents fondly recall when the turtles provided meat for their tables – and would like to be allowed to hunt them again.Green sea turtle - PHOTO: Pacific Whale Foundation

Because Hawaii’s green sea turtles are listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), it is illegal to harass, feed, hunt, capture or kill the turtles. The turtles – known as "honu" in Hawaiian – received this protection in 1978, following decades of commercial exploitation that caused their population to plummet, and the failure of a Hawaii state law passed in 1974 to reverse the decline.

A pending decision by National Marine Fisheries Service and US Fish and Wildlife could erase this federal protection, which would return the turtles' management to the state.

The current review of the turtle's status was triggered by a petition filed by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs last February, which asked that Hawaiian green sea turtles be reclassified as a "distinct population segment" and that this distinct population be considered for "delisting" from the US Endangered Species list.

"For Hawaiians, the honu — if you remove the emotions — the honu gives us sustenance," said Charles Kaaiai, speaking at the Maui Sea Turtle Symposium conducted last month by Pacific Whale Foundation. Kaaiai, a member of the civic clubs association, is the indigenous coordinator of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, a federal organization that manages and implements laws governing fishing activity in Hawaii.

[Article shortened]

Cheryl King, Maui Research Coordinator of Hawaii Wildlife Fund’s Hawksbill Recovery Project, commented that living turtles have greater economic value in attracting visitors to the state.

"Announcing that turtles can be hunted again will cast a dark shadow over Hawaii," she wrote, "A turtle slaughter would be a horrible thing for most families to witness, especially if they've experienced the beauty of watching them underwater."
> Read full article at MauiNow.com

'Yellow thing' suspected to be tsunami debris
Copyright © 2012 The Ka`u Calendar
October 7, 2012 - THE BIG YELLOW METAL THING, some 20 feet in diameter and approximately 12 feet high, is drawing concern from more marine experts. It was discovered last Wednesday on the southeast shore of Ka`u.

Megan Lamson of Hawaii Wildlife Fund congratulated the youth group led by `Imi Pono No Ka `Aina “for finding what may possibly Marine debris on Ka`u coast could be from tsunamibe the first likely ‘verifiable’ tsunami debris item to wash ashore on Hawai`i Island!” Since at least June, suspicious debris items have been reported, including unusual “oyster” buoys, industrial pvc pipes and random boat parts washing ashore along the east side of the island, Lamson reported. However, each of these reports are considered “unconfirmed” Japanese tsunami debris.

According to oceanographic models by Dr. Nikolai Maximenko and Dr. Jan Hafner, of University of Hawai`i, arrivals from the Fukushima event from March 11, 2011 should begin to arrive on Hawai`i Island about now. They could possibly include “this massive yellow metal tank found makai of Na`alehu on Wednesday, Oct 3.”

Lamson said that Hawaii Wildlife Fund “is worried about new debris items like this one refloating, and thereby continuing to endanger wildlife (marine mammals, fishes, coral reefs) and also creating navigational hazards. Our other concerns include “hitch-hikers” (invasive species introductions) and potential health hazards to our people and coastal ecosystems.”
> Read Oct 7 blog     > Read Oct 5 blog

Coastal Cleanup - Get the Drift & Bag It
Copyright © 2012 West Hawaii Today
September 19, 2012 - HILO — Volunteers across the island scoured the shoreline last Saturday during the 27th annual International Coastal Cleanup, scooping up more than a ton of debris. But if you missed the cleanup, never fear. Get the Drift & Bag It - PHOTO: Kirk ShorteThere are more cleanup days scheduled in the coming weeks.

Sixty-one people joined the Hawaii Wildlife Fund's "Get the Drift & Bag It!" event, cleaning a 1-mile stretch from Kamilo Point to Kaluahonu in Ka‘u. Participants included the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s marine debris science class, the Orchidland Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth group and a crew of five from the San Diego-based Pacific Beach Shoreclub, according to Megan Lamson, HWF debris project coordinator.

The group collected about 2,760 pounds of junk, including about 1,000 pounds of fishing net bundles, Lamson said. Also in the mix of 141,759 pieces of stuff were 90,004 plastic fragments, 26,228 bottle or container caps, 2,550 oyster spacers, 1,380 aluminum or tin cans, 120 tires, 71 rubber slippers and 252 plastic bags.
> Read article

NerdWallet: HWF one of Hawaii's top nonprofits
Copyright © 2012 NerdWallet
August 10, 2012 - There are a number of dedicated organizations tirelessly working to preserve Hawaii’s natural beauty and to improve the lives of it’s citizens. NerdWallet: HWF one of Hawaii's top nonprofitsHawai’i isn’t just a vacation spot for tourists looking to get away for two weeks; it’s home to over 1.3 million men, women, and children, so it deserves to be taken care of. To say “mahalo” for their service, we’ve listed some of the best nonprofit organizations serving the citizens of Hawai’i.

Here are NerdWallet’s top 4 Hawai’i nonprofits:
Hawai’i Wildlife Fund
: For Protecting Hawaii’s Native Wildlife Much of what makes Hawai’i so special is the diversity and absolute wonder of its beaches and wildlife. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund works to preserve Hawaii’s native wildlife through research, education, and conservation. A skilled team of volunteers, educators, conservationists, and the like work to engage the community and create opportunities for citizens to play an active role in protecting some of Hawaii’s greatest treasures. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund calls upon the community to learn more about the marine environment through snorkeling or even whale watching. Getting educated is one of the first, most crucial steps to successfully preserving the environment. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund’s efforts are invaluable and instrumental in keeping Hawai’i the paradise we all know. Donate to HWF
> Read article

Marine debris collected by HWF displayed abroad
Copyright © 2012 Maui Weekly
Marine debris collected by HWF displayed abroad. PHOTO: Cheryl King/HWF
The Out to Sea museum exhibition in Switzerland contains shocking amounts of plastic flotsam and garbage, including 6.6 tons collected on Kaho‘olawe by Hawaii Wildlife Fund. HWF's Cheryl King traveled overseas to educate on the cleanup. PHOTO: Cheryl King/HWF
July 26, 2012 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Cheryl King and her volunteers collected tons of marine debris during beach cleanups on the island of Kaho'olawe, a "catcher's mitt" for marine debris from the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to their efforts, Kanapou Bay is now cleaner than it has ever been. "It no longer looks like it did in the picture that is displayed if you search Wikipedia for 'marine debris,'" King said.

An ocean steward in his spare time, Jacob Freeman of CDF Engineering participated as the project engineer. Using a helicopter, Freeman's teams lifted trash and recyclables back to Maui.

King and Freeman recently returned from being hosted by the Museum fur Gestaltung Zurich in Switzerland, where last December they shipped a 40-foot container filled with over 6.6 tons of marine debris collected from Kaho'olawe. King said she simply responded to an online request for marine debris for their educational exhibit. "It was a dream come true to be able to spread the marine debris message to such a large audience," King said.
> Read article

Ke Ola calls volunteers 'Clean-up Crusaders'
'Clean-up Crusaders' article in Ke Ola magazineJuly 2012 - Hawai’i Wildlife Fund's efforts to clean up the islands' coasts is recognized this month by Ke Ola magazine in its July/August issue. (Ke Ola means "The Life" in Hawaiian.) Entitled, "Clean-up Crusaders," the article focuses on HWF's Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project lead by Megan Lamson, who organizes and leads countless clean-ups every year on Hawai’i Island (Big Island), which has some of Hawaii's most littered shorelines. Their efforts are often centered in the Ka'u district, where there is an ongoing struggle to keep up with the large amount of marine debris that is increasingly washing up onto the coastline by ocean currents that converge there.
> Read article

HWF guides film crew to plastic-filled beach
Copyright © 2012 La Mode Verte
HWF's Megan Lamson and Stacey Breining on Kamilo Beach

HWF's Megan Lamson and Stacey Breining work to clear a derelict Fish Aggregating Device off Kamilo Beach on Big Island.
April 23, 2012 - La Mode Verte (LMV), researchers and makers of a documentary film called Plastic Shores, included a post on their blog today, entitled, "Those Who Helped with Plastic Shores: Hawai’i Wildlife Fund." The blog entry reads: After the conference, LMV flew to the largest Hawaiian island, Big Island, to film what is commonly thought of as one of the world’s worst shorelines for plastic pollution, Kamilo Beach. We had met the Hawaii Wildlife Fund's Megan Lamson at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference and she kindly organized for us to go to Kamilo with herself and another HWF member Stacey Breining.
> Read entire LMV blog post

HWF, others file lawsuit to protect Maui beach
Copyright © 2012 Environment News Service
April 23, 2012 - LAHAINA, Maui, Hawaii (ENS) - Four Hawaii community groups have filed suit under the federal Clean Water Act to stop Maui County The green alga Ulva fasciata covers the ocean floor offshore of Kahekili Beach, Maui, 2004. (Photo by Jennifer Smith courtesy Earthjustice)from discharging wastewater into the ocean from its Lahaina treatment plant without a permit.

After years of unsuccessful efforts to resolve the issue out of court, the nonprofit public-interest law firm Earthjustice filed the complaint in federal district court April 16 on behalf of the four groups.

The plaintiff groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association, and Sierra Club-Maui Group - complain that three to five million gallons of wastewater are injected into wells at the facility every day. The tainted water surfaces offshore of Kahekili Beach Park in West Maui, killing corals, triggering outbreaks of invasive algae and endangering the health of people swimming and surfing there.

[Article shortened]

"While disinfection is a step in the right direction, it won't remove nitrogen and phosphorous from the wastewater, so it won't get rid of the harmful algae growth at Kahekili," said Hannah Bernard of Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

"Algae smother the coral and upset the ecosystem because fish and other marine animals depend on the reef for food and need the crevices within the reef," said Bernard.
> Read entire article online at Environment News Service

Where Has All The Plastic Gone?
Copyright © 2012 Big Island Weekly
April 3, 2012 - A University of Hawaii-Hilo study has revealed that Big Island's trash can end up on Maui beaches. As part of his research for the project, marine ecologist Dr. Hank Carson sought Many marked wooden blocks released from Big Island washed up on Maui's shores. PHOTO: Cheryl Kingthe help of Megan Lamson of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, who has organized beach cleanups around the island, including at Kamilo Beach, Ka’u's infamous "plastic beach," which a natural confluence of currents and winds has turned into a dumping ground for tons of washed-up ocean debris. Lamson was wondering how that debris got there. She volunteered to release blocks off Pohoiki and Southpoint at about the same time that Carson and his students were releasing them off Hilo and Kona last year. The marked wooden blocks, called "drifters," were released from various points around the Island of Hawaii to see where flotsam from the island would end up. They expected most of the blocks to end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: the Texas-sized floating debris field in the Pacific doldrums. But instead, many of the wooden blocks washed up on the shores of Maui County.
> Read entire article at Big Island Weekly

Subaru Hawaii to donate to Hawaii Wildlife Fund
Copyright © 2011 MauiFeed.com
November 25, 2011 - MAUI - Have you ever dreamed of owning a wild animal? Of course, actually owning one would be a huge responsibility that includes possible detriments to your health and financial stability. But Hawaii Wildlife fund offers an attractive alternative: you can adopt wildlife from them at fraction of the price it takes to keep these animals wild and safe from extinction. Hawaii Subaru has teamed up with Hawaii Wildlife Fund to help keep Hawaii wild; you will find them at the Maui Island Subaru dealership offering wild animal adoptions on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11am to 2pm.

The network of Subaru Hawaii dealerships – Big Island, Kahului and Oahu – will donate $250 to the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and SPCA Maui for every new vehicle sold from Nov. 1 throughout Dec. 31 of this year. Their “Share the Love” events will benefit the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, SPCA Maui, Hawaii Island Humane Society, Oahu SPCA and Hawaii Literacy.

Read full article - Turtle Adoption Saturday December 3
Turtle Adoption Saturday December 3. PHOTO: Cheryl King/HWF

For those not ready to purchase a car, visit Subaru’s Facebook page and vote for one of the five charities in their poll. The winner, announced at the end of December, will win $5,000 from Subaru.

Hawaii Wildlife Fund was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to the preservation of the state’s fragile marine ecosystem and its inhabitants. “It’s tricky to focus on one species over another, we focus mauka to makai,” said fund president Hannah Bernard. “Everything we do on land affects the nearshore. Here in Hawaii everything is connected.” > Read more

Kamilo Beach Cleanup nets 3,000 pounds of trash
Copyright © 2011 Ka'u News Briefs
Kamilo Beach Cleanup
Kamilo Beach cleanup netted tons of trash over Veterans Day weekend. November 25, 2011 - MAUI - Kamilo Beach Cleanup statistics are in from Veterans Day weekend. Megan Lamson, of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, reports that 66 volunteers picked up 72 extra large bags of rubbish, 27 burlap bags of trash and eight re-used Dacalio Coffee bags to haul away nearly 3,000 pounds of rubbish in seven pickup trucks. A thousand pounds of derelict fishing nets were removed. Some of the other junk that could hurt wildlife include more than 8,000 plastic caps and lids, black tubing, all kinds of bottles, plastic crates, plastic bags and food wrappers, plastic straws and coffee stirrers, rubber slippers, light bulbs and tubes and cigarette lighters. Volunteers even removed micropalstic confetti from the beach at Kamilo. The next beach cleanup is Dec. 10 at Hon`onoua, the southernmost anchialine pond. Another scouring of a Ka`u Coast beach will is set for Jan. 14.
> Read article online

HWF researcher wins award in photo contest
August 31, 2011 - MAALAEA, MAUI — Hawaii Wildlife Fund researcher Cheryl King's photo of a hawksbill sea turtle hatchling entering the sea was awarded the People’s Choice Award in the Maui Ocean Center’s "I Love Marine Life" photo contest.

Winning photos in Maui Ocean Center's contest
HWF's Cheryl King took this photo during a rare sunrise hatchling emergence at Kealia, the site that the lawsuit is addressing.

More than 50 entries were accepted and 10 finalists were selected by judges. The finalists work was then displayed at the aquarium for seven days, giving visitors at the park a chance to vote for the People's Choice winner, for which King got the most votes.

The Judges' Choice winner is Tammy Brehio, who took a photo of a hermit crab. The other finalists were: Amita Schmidt, Jenna Long, David Williams, Dawn Eshelman, James Tobin, Steven Jenness and Faith Giesick. Finalists and winners won prizes and had their photos featured at the recent Maui Photo Festival's slide show. > Read more

Groups to sue county for violating Clean Water Act
Copyright © 2011 The Lahaina News
July 21, 2011 - HONOKOWAI — Maui community groups represented by Earthjustice have sent Maui County a formal notice of their intent to sue the county for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility (LWRF) into the nearshore waters of West Maui.

HWF's Cheryl King took this photo of a hawksbill sea turtle off of West Maui where water quality is in question.
HWF's Cheryl King took this photo of a hawksbill sea turtle off of West Maui where water quality is in question.

The groups include the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, West Maui Preservation Association, Surfrider Foundation-Maui Chapter and Sierra Club-Maui Group. The county responded by explaining that it operates LWRF under permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state Department of Health (DOH), and the plant is operating in compliance with all permit conditions and applicable laws.

According to the groups, the county facility in Honokowai injects millions of gallons of wastewater every day into the groundwater via injection wells. Although the water is treated at the facility, it still contains bacteria, chemicals and other pollutants when it is pumped into the ground. “The county has known for many years, and scientific studies have shown, that this wastewater flows through the groundwater into Maui’s nearshore waters, where it degrades the water quality, presents health risks and promotes algae blooms,” the groups contend.
> Read full article online at The Lahaina News

Injection well lawsuit in the works
Copyright © 2011 The Maui News
June 30, 2011 - Four community groups have filed a notice of intent to sue Maui County over alleged Clean Water Act violations at its West Maui injection wells.

The Maui NewsThe notice claims that treated effluent injected into the ground at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility has been seeping into the ocean off Kaanapali, causing pollution that poses a health risk for ocean users and stimulates the growth of reef-choking algae.

The document states that the county must obtain a special discharge permit in order to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act. County officials responded by saying that the treatment plant has been operating legally under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Health permits, and that the county had been cooperating with state and federal regulators to be sure it was complying with all of the permits' conditions.

Part of that process has been conducting tracer and seep studies to determine whether the effluent was reaching offshore waters and whether the county needed to obtain a discharge permit, they noted in a news release issued Wednesday.

"Until those studies are complete, any talk of alleged violations is premature at best," the county said in its statement.

The nonprofit Earthjustice filed the notice Tuesday on behalf of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, West Maui Preservation Association, Surfrider Foundation's Maui Chapter and Sierra Club-Maui Group.
> Read full article online at The Maui News

Drifting marine debris continues on our shores
Copyright © 2011 West Hawaii Today
June 20, 2011 - Over the past eight years, the Big Island's southern Waiohinu-Ka Lae coast has been the site of 23 intense marine debris removal efforts and the effort's paying off, said Megan Lamson, Hawaii Wildlife Fund debris project coordinator.

When the cleanups began in 2003, Hawaii Wildlife Fund founder Bill Gilmartin instructed volunteers not to pick up anything smaller than their hands. Now that older, larger items have been removed and community involvement has taken off, things have changed to more of a "maintenance" level, with concentration on newly arrived trash. Volunteers are even straining micro plastic from the sand, Lamson said.

Tonight in Waimea, Lamson will discuss marine debris, Hawaii Wildlife Fund's removal efforts and ways to reduce single-use plastics. The Reef Talk begins at 6 p.m. in Thelma Parker Library.

A stewy body of plastic and marine debris floats in gyres, formed by winds and currents in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The plastic containers, toys, bags, fishing lines and nets discarded on land or at sea float endlessly in these gyres, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but never completely disappearing, Lamson said.
> Read full article online at West Hawaii Today

Data indicates tsunami debris will hit Big Island
Copyright © 2011 Hawaii Tribune Herald.
Read article online at Hawaii Tribune Herald

On April 2, less than a month after the tsunami struck Japan, Hawaii Wildlife Fund volunteers cleaned a debris-filled shoreline on the Big Island of Hawai'i which always attracts floating trash. Experts predict debris from Japan will hit this same beach in three to five years. PHOTO: Megan Lamson/HWF
April 10, 2011 - Computer modeling by researchers at the University of Hawaii projects that debris from Japan's tsunami will reach the Big Island in three to five years. The 9.0-magnitude earthquake March 11 triggered a massive wall of water that surged over coastal towns near Sendai, Japan. Homes, vehicles and even people were washed out to sea. Rescuers worked around the clock pulling out survivors, some miles from where they'd been taken. But left behind were enormous masses of floating debris. That debris is now being carried eastward by the surface current phenomenon known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, according to scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa International Pacific Research Center.
[Portions of article removed for brevity. Read entire article.]
   As director of research and a cofounder of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Bill Gilmartin has worked since 2003 to organize cleanups of the Big Island's shores. At times, he said, it feels like an uphill battle, with some beaches blanketed by garbage just a week after being cleaned. But, he said, he views his mission not as keeping the beaches clean but as removing garbage from the water. "What we're doing is keeping it out of the ocean," he said. "A lot of the material (on the beaches) refloats. The more we're able to pull off the beach, the more we're keeping from going back into the ocean. The goal is to reduce what is going into the ocean."
> Read full article in Hawaii Tribune Herald newspaper

Marine Debris Awareness Week
Copyright © 2011 The Ka`u Calendar.
Beach debris hauled in from the Ka`u Coast includes many plastics.

Beach debris hauled in from the Ka`u Coast includes many plastics.
PHOTO: Hawai`i Wildlife Fund

March 25, 2011 - This is Marine Debris Awareness Week, and the fifth annual International Marine Debris Conference is being held in Hawai`i. Conferees are developing a commitment from international representatives to reduce ocean dumping that would cut back on trash that reaches some of the most remote places in the world, including the Ka`u Coast, where volunteers routinely clean up ... Marine resources expert Megan Lamson of Ka`u is attending the conference, which has the theme Global Lessons to Inspire Local Action.
> Read full article in The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs blog
> HWF Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project

HWF pulls 1,500 pounds of net off Kamilo Beach
January 30, 2011 - KA'U, HAWAII - Fifteen hundred pounds of net were pulled off Kamilo Beach near South Point on just one workday in January by Photos: The Ka`u Calendar Newspapervolunteers for the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. In addition to nets, volunteers found computer circuit boards, a scuba cylinder, motorcycle helmet, liquor bottles from Japan and Scotland, an old tube television and car tires. The 33 volunteers also pulled out 66 large garbage bags of debris from the beach. The next Ka`u Coast cleanup days are April 2 and June 4. The Wildlife Fund is also starting an anchialine pond restoration project. To help out, call Megan McWhite Lamson at 769-7629 or email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
> Read full article in The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper
> HWF Hawai'i Island Marine Debris Removal Project

HWF helps create false killer whale protection plan

HWF President Hannah Bernard participated in a
ground-breaking, consensus plan to reduce
false killer whale bycatch by Hawaii's longline fleet.
July 20, 2010 - (AP) - HONOLULU — Fishermen who use longlines to catch ahi, mahimahi and other fish off Hawaii should use a different kind of hook so they don't accidentally severely injure or kill a rare dolphin species, a federal advisory group said.
   Preserving Hawaii's False Killer WhalesLongline fleet captains should undergo training on how to release any mistakenly caught false killer whales in a way that minimizes the chance they'll be seriously harmed, the group told the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency responsible for regulating the fishery.
   The agency had asked scientists, fishermen, conservationists and regulators to form the advisory group and make recommendations.
> Read related article in Honolulu Magazine
> Read Press Release (PDF)

Volunteers help rebuild turtle fence near highway
Kanu's Live Aloha Day turtle fence repair project - click photo to enlarge
HWF staff and volunteers during the 'Kanu's Live Aloha Day' turtle fence repair project at Kihei, Maui, on June 19. >> PHOTO GALLERY
June 19, 2010 - In honor of "Kanu’s Live Aloha Day" today, HWF staff and volunteers worked together to protect nesting turtles by repairing the wooden fence that helps keep turtles off the road.
   The event took place at the Kihei hawksbill nesting beach called Kealia or "Sugar Beach." This was a follow-up of the first major fence repair and trash clean-up conducted on May 30, in which 23 people participated.
   Since HWF is still waiting for the completion of a more permanent fence made out of recycled plastic, the old wooden fence (initially installed in 1997 but in need of frequent repair) provides the only barrier stopping nesting turtles from wandering onto the dangerously nearby highway.
   HWF's Project Leader Cheryl King: "Maintaining the wooden fence requires rolls and rolls of fencing, many posts, spools and spools of wire, whatever else we can find, and the energy of dedicated volunteers who realize the critical importance of the fence. It is now a solid turtle barrier and HWF asks for community assistance in keeping it that way. Mahalo!"
   On Saturday, June 26, HWF is organizing another beach cleanup at Kealia with the South Maui Sustainability group, from 8 am to 10 am. For more information, contact Cheryl King at (808) 385-5464 or Angie Hofmann at (808) 357-3134.
> Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project
> View Photos    > Watch Video

Viewpoint: County must comply with EPA orders
Copyright © 2010 Maui News.
[Note: The following editorial was written by Teri Leonard from the DIRE Coalition, a Maui conservation group co-founded by HWF.]
June 12, 2010 - It is another beautiful and sparkling Maui morning. The Maui NewsThis is a perfect day to take in a swim along the shoreline, catch a wave, snorkel or scuba out to the reef, clean the bottom of the boat, go fishing for dinner or just take the family to the beach and watch the children frolic in the gentle waves. But how safe is that water?
   The Maui News June 6 article "EPA orders county to test isle waters" points out the refusal of the county administration to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's order for Maui County to conduct injection well tracer and sampling tests along

the Kaanapali coastline. The tests are meant to determine if the injection of millions of gallons per day of sewage effluent is reaching our nearshore waters and has the potential to affect the quality of the water, the health of the coral reef system and the physical and economic health of the county's citizens and visitors.
   The EPA ordered the county to submit a proposal for the sampling plan by March 15 and that the final sampling plan to be submitted by April 26. According to the article, none of these submissions occurred. The county appears to be stalling ...
> Read the entire editorial at mauinews.com

Famous turtle mom due for return
The Maui NewsCopyright © 2010 Maui News.
April 24, 2010 - It's spring, and an old turtle's thoughts turn to romance. Not young turtles - green sea turtles don't reach breeding age until they are 20 years old or older.
Turtle fanciers are expecting and hoping that "Maui Girl" - officially turtle 5690 - will return several times this season to nest in Lahaina, which she has done every other year since 2000. A number of other turtles, none with a name, are also likely to visit Maui's beaches in about a month,
Baby hawksbill in a human footprint - photo: Cheryl King
A baby hawksbill sea turtle finds itself stuck in a footprint in this 2008 photo. Starting next month, volunteers will start a Dawn Patrol to monitor Maui beaches for turtle nests.
PHOTO: CHERYL KING
according to Cheryl King, research coordinator of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which helps monitor nests.
   Finding the nests can be a life-and-death matter for baby turtles. Last year, a previously unknown hawksbill laid a nest in front of the Maui Lu, but nobody noticed. The babies, misled by street lights, crawled onto South Kihei Road.
   "(They) were squashed," King said. "It was pretty traumatic."
   HWF volunteers and professional wildlife biologists were alerted and managed to save some nestlings. The same turtle also had made two nests at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. Those were spotted and hatched out successfully.
   Glynnis Nakai, manager of the refuge, will announce soon a meeting to organize this year's Dawn Patrol, a volunteer watch that monitors three South Maui beaches for signs of nesting by the critically endangered hawksbills.
   King said more volunteers always can be used, because it would be desirable to expand the patrol to more than three beaches. It would be impossible, she said, to monitor them all.
> Read full article at mauinews.com

The plight of the Hawaiian Monk Seal
Maui TimeCopyright © 2010 Maui Times. By Rob Parsons by Trisha Smith
April 7, 2010 - A dozen years ago I met a strapping young man, just out of high school and working as first mate on a snorkel cruise boat. Much to my amazement, one of his duties on daily excursions to Molokini was to discourage a rambunctious teenage monk seal, known for making amorous advances on unsuspecting tourists.
   I had read about "Humpy," as the seal was dubbed, and his interactions with surprised swimmers, mainly in the Makena area of Maui Time articleSouth Maui. Agencies responded to the ongoing incidents by relocating the frisky seal to Kaho'olawe. But within days, the seal had returned and was frequenting Molokini islet, with its hundreds of daily snorkelers and divers. While some visitors were undoubtedly thrilled to encounter the rare pinniped, they may not have been aware of the dangers associated. To humans, yes, as seals are known to nip or bite. But much more so to the seal.
[portion of article removed - read full article]
   Biologist Bill Gilmartin began studying Hawaiian monk seals in 1978, investigating die-offs on Laysan Island. He worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service from 1980 until his retirement in 1995, serving as a vital member of the Monk Seal Recovery Team (MSRT).
   The MSRT pushed for greater measures to aid survival of seal pups and launched efforts in the '80s '90s to relocate newly weaned pups, allowing them to grow and fatten in captivity before returning to the wild.
   In 1994, Gilmartin and his team relocated 21 adult males to the main Hawaiian Islands to prevent aggressive "mobbing" behavior during breeding season that sometimes injures or kills females in estrus.
   Following his "retirement" from NMFS, Gilmartin and fellow scientist Hannah Bernard formed the Hawaii Wildlife Fund in 1996, primarily to address gaps in recovery efforts for endangered hawksbill turtles and monk seals. Both believe that partnership with the community us key.
   "We've seen an increase of larger, healthier animals in the main [Hawaiian] Islands," said Gilmartin. "With that, there will continue to be more on our beaches. More education will allow for collaboration."
> Read full article at mauitime.com

HWF organizes 'More Fish in the Sea' festival
Hawai'i Wildlife Fund kuleana booth at the 2010 More Fish in the Sea festival
Ken Schmitt of Hike Maui, left, stops by the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund kuleana booth at the 2010 More Fish in the Sea festival to talk story with event organizers Hannah Bernard and Danielle Johnson.

PHOTO: ROB PARSONS
April 3, 2010 - Maui, Hawaii - The More Fish in the Sea ocean awareness fair celebrated one of our most precious resources, the ocean, featuring educational booths, water quality testing

lessons, reef surveys and a beach clean-up.
   Entertainment included music by Oren Masserman of Barefoot Minded, an ocean film festival, and information on island-wide projects throughout the month of April in celebration of Earth Day.
   The event organizers, which included Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, held the event to raise awareness and to provide access to actions that help bring back the health of Maui's coastal waters. This year, Uncle Mac PoePoe, of Hui Malama O Mo'omomi, and Uncle Merv Dudoit of Ka Honua Momona, Intl., were honored with the annual Malama i ke Kai Annual Kupuna award. Last year's honoree was noted educator and founder of Maui Cultural Lands/Malama Honokowai, Ed Lindsey.

Program rescues stranded sea turtles along Maui
Maui WeeklyCopyright © 2010 Maui Weekly by Trisha Smith
March 18, 2010 - Hawaiian waters are home to several protected species of sea turtles, including the honu (green sea turtle), which provides underwater delight for residents and visitors alike.
   All sea turtles (dead and alive) are legally protected. Green sea turtles are considered threatened, while many others, like the hawksbills, are deemed endangered. The state strives to provide a safe haven for our shelled reptile friends, and encourages residents to educate themselves and our visitors about Hawai‘i’s precious wildlife.
   But many people don’t know what to do when coming across a turtle in need along the beaches or struggling in nearshore waters.
[portion of article removed]
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund
(HWF) also works in collaboration with NMFS/NOAA. HWF President Hannah Bernard and Research Coordinator Cheryl King are vital parts of turtle conservation efforts on Maui.
   "The main message is to leave animals alone, give them space and contact the right people," said Bernard. "We all need to educate visitors, because they don’t know not to touch them."
> Read full article online at Maui Weekly

Get the drift - Beach cleanup mahalo
Copyright © 2009 West Hawaii TodayWest Hawaii Today
by Terry Miura, Aquatic Program Assistant, County of Hawaii

December 18, 2009 - I would like to thank all the volunteers, from keiki to kupuna, who participated in this year's International Coastal Clean-up (ICC), Get The Drift & Bag It, held Sept 19. Community groups, school groups and individuals participated in the largest single-day volunteer event to protect our ocean and waterways. International Coastal Cleanup. Click photo to enlarge 
   With most of the results in, we had over 841 volunteers participate this year. These volunteers picked up a huge amount of trash both in and out of the water totaling over 12,626 pounds. This year the Hawaii Wildlife Fund volunteers at Kamilo hauled out 4,000 pounds of derelict fishing nets and another 1,580 pounds of other debris. Along the Puako and Waialea Bay area, volunteers there collected over 3,957 pounds on shore and another 1,406 pounds under the water.
> Read full letter to the editor at westhawaiitoday.com
> Watch video

Teach Maui - enrichment program for children
August 13, 2009 - Local educators Evelyn and Ed Zayas have concluded that the best way to develop a sense of stewardship in Cheryl King and the children imitate how turtles crawl up the beaches to nest.our community would be an investment in the minds and attitudes of our children. “Our enrichment program for fourth through eighth grade Maui students coordinates and delivers engaging activities in a four-week Saturday morning format,” they said. “We want to teach our children to appreciate and care for the environment, making them aware of our natural resources.” ... Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Maui Research Coordinator Cheryl King gave a presentation on Maui turtles at the National Marine Sanctuary Education Center in Kihei. The children learned about turtle nesting habits and ways to help with marine conservation. “We are all so lucky to live here, but our island ecosystems need our help,” said King. “We hope that by engaging the children’s imaginations through hands-on learning, we can teach them the ethics of respect and conservation needed here.”
> Read full article at mauiweekly.com

HWF sea turtle rescue topic of online news video
August 5, 2009 - Cheryl King of Hawaii Wildlife Fund on Akaku videoMaui Community Television's Akaku On Demand "Maui Daily" online video show featured Hawai'i Wildlife Fund's Ocean Resource Specialist Cheryl King working with Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Aquatic Specialist Skippy Hau and Maui Coastal Land Trust
to excavate an endangered green sea turtle nest, freeing hatchlings that were not able to get out of the nest on their own.
> Watch video

Animal Planet's Corwin signs MRF Diver's Pledge

Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin receives a Maui Reef Fund tag from HWF's Hannah Bernard
Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin receives a Maui Reef Fund tag from HWF President Hannah Bernard.
Feb 2009 - Jeff Corwin, one of the nation's leading environmentalists who created and stars in Animal Planet's "The Jeff Corwin Experience" and "Corwin's Quest," has visited Maui many times and worked to preserve the island's marine environment through his films. During a recent visit, Corwin was named an honorary member of the Maui Reef Fund after saying that he was willing to sign MRF's Diver's Pledge (see below).

MRF DIVER’S PLEDGE > DOWNLOAD DIVER'S PLEDGE (pdf 22kb)
To ensure that the reefs I dive on continue to thrive, I pledge to:

  • Follow all applicable State and Federal laws related to marine life and protected areas.
  • Be respectful to all marine life.
  • Never touch, stand, kick, stand or rest on corals.
  • Never chase, harass, flush from shelter or relocate marine life.
  • Not feed fish or other marine life.
  • Keep a respectful distance from turtles and never chase them, block their path or try to ride them.
  • Secure dive flags to the sandy bottom using weights or other anchoring device or tie off to non-living surfaces.
  • Be extra careful if taking photos or videos, being aware of the reef and respectful of the marine life.
  • Look before touching the bottom for balance, making sure it is non-living substrate and when absolutely necessary using only one or two fingers for contact.
  • Minimize glove use unless required by a medical condition, for thermal protection, or for safety.

HWF featured in 'Preserving Paradise' book
Hawai’i Wildlife Fund is proud to have three programs featured in a new book, “Preserving Paradise,” by Maui author Kirsten Whatley. The book provides Preserving Paradiseways the island visitors and residents can volunteer with HWF and other environmental groups.
   In a description of her experience volunteering with HWF's Hawksbill Sea Turtle Nestwatch Project, Whatley writes, “Sleeping on the beach has its lures – black night skies, sand in your hair, the lullaby of waves tumbling at the foot of your bed. Then the alarm goes off and you're up again. It's 2:00 a.m. You scan the sand for turtle tracks. Nothing. You look for baby turtles wandering in the darkness, instinctively trying to reach their saltwater home. Not yet. You reset the alarm and lean back against a cushion of sand, breathing in the seaweed air, knowing that if just one in a hundred hatchlings survives its journey from nest to ocean tonight, you'll have done your job. ...”

HWF President named Conservationist of the Year
 HWF's president Bill Gilmartin named Conservationist of Year
Oct 6, 2007: HWF's president Bill Gilmartin receives the Conservationist of the Year Award from Casey Jarman (left) of the Conservation Council for Hawai'i. HWF's Vice President Hannah Bernard (right) was there to see Bill receive the honor.


 
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