Archive for the ‘Volunteer’ Category

Invasive Species Awareness Week

March 5th, 2014
By



The invasive coconut rhino beetle could destroy half of the state's coconut trees. Courtesy photo.

The invasive coconut rhino beetle could destroy half of the state's coconut trees. Courtesy photo.

Coqui frogs. Little fire ants. Coconut rhinoceros beetles.

You name it, we've got it here in Hawaii. We're talking about invasive species that can do great ecological and economic damage.

So on Monday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie kicked off the second annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week. It's an enormous problem for the state, high enough priority for Gov. Abercrombie, who has proposed up to $5 million to meet the operating costs of invasive species programs.

"We are experiencing a biological crisis involving a multitude of invaders ranging from the fire ant and coconut rhinoceros beetle, which can harm our animals and trees, to parasites attacking coffee crops," said Gov. Abercrombie in this year's State of the State address. "Each represents a deadly threat to our isolated ecosystem, natural resources, and economy, and I ask the public's engagement in addressing this menace."

Crowdsourcing seems to be the new trend in tracking invasive (as well as endangered) species these days. The state is asking people to participate in Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week by participating in efforts to survey all coconut trees  in the isles for the coconut rhinoceros beetle.

Adult rhino beetles bore into the crowns of coconut trees to drink the sap, leaving a distinctive v-shaped cut in the leaves when the fronds grow out. They could kill half the coconut trees in the state.

You can help by going to the Project Noah website or downloading the app. The Beetle Buster Team from the University of Hawaii will assess the presence or absence of the pest across the state.

There are also volunteer opportunities to combat invasive species across Hawaii:.

>> Help OISC remove invasive plants, Ardisia virens and Stromanthe tonckat at Lyon Arboretum 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. Email oisc@hawaii.edu or call 286-4616. RSVP required.

>> Pull weeds on the offshore islet of Moku‘auia Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, March 8. RSVP required.

>> Remove invasive manuka plants from Manana Trail 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contact koolaupartnership@gmail.com. RSVP required.

 

Saving Waikiki

February 12th, 2014
By



20140212_growing

Volunteers are welcome to help remove three types of invasive algae from the reef behind Waikiki aquarium during public beach cleanups scheduled from February through October.

The Waikiki Aquarium recently received a $43,951 Community Restoration Partnership grant to continue its Waikiki Coastal Restoration efforts and research. The alien algae — Acanthophora spicifera, Gracilaria salicornia and Avrainvillea amadelpha — choke the reefs and crowd out native limu. They're considered a marine menace and threat to the beauty of Waikiki.

Beach cleanups will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, as well as on Saturdays, March 29, May 3, June 28 and Oct. 25.

"This grant allows us to further engage the public in our conservation efforts, which is a very important goal for us in 2014," said Aquarium director Andrew Rossiter. "We encourage everyone who has an interest in the ocean to join us for a rewarding Saturday morning out on the reef."

Volunteers will first  be trained on how to differentiate between invasive and native algae plants followed by hands-on removal experience on the reef using snorkels, paddleboards and buckets. Dr. Celia Smith and her team from the University of Hawaii Botany Department will provide the training. Starbucks and Diamond Bakery are providing coffee and snacks for volunteers.

Waikiki Aquarium's volunteers have removed thousands of pounds of invasive algae from the reef behind the aquarium over the decade in an effort to protect the native marine plants.

Other organizations, including Malama Maunalua, have also worked hard to remove invasive algae from Maunalua Bay (which stretches from Diamond Head to Koko Head) in East Oahu, with hopeful signs that the bay is being restored. Malama Maunalua also offers volunteer opportunities. On the windward side, a Super Sucker, a mobile underwater pump-vacuum, is used to remove invasive algae from Kaneohe Bay.

To voluteer for the Waikiki Coastal Restoration program, call the aquarium's volunteer office at 440-9020 or visit www.waikikiaquarium.org.

MLK Beach Cleanups

January 17th, 2014
By



 PlasticFreeHawaii

Here's your opportunity to help the environment at the start of the year 2014.

There are beach cleanups planned by Plastic Free Hawai‘i  and its community partners at three sites around Oahu on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Monday (Jan. 20). Volunteers check in at 8:30 a.m. and clean up between 9 and 11 a.m.

Bring a reusable water bottle, hat and sunscreen.

Choose one of the three:

>> Ka‘ena Point. Volunteers will clean along the Mokule‘ia Route.

>> Malaekahana Beach Park. Meet at mile market 34.

>> Waimanalo Beach Park.

For more info, email plasticfree@kokuahawaiifoundation.org.

 

Coastal Cleanup Day

September 18th, 2013
By



Help keep our coastlines debris and litter free on International Coastal Cleanup Day.

Help keep our coastlines debris and litter free on International Coastal Cleanup Day.

This Saturday (Sept. 21) is the Ocean Conservancy's 28th International Cleanup Day.

So it's the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and pitch in at a beach cleanup (scheduled throughout Oahu) that day.

These three cleanups, organized by Kokua Hawaii Foundation's Plastic Free Hawaii, take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday (check-in at 8:30 a.m.):

>> James Campbell Wildlife Refuge/Kahuku — Partners include U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Kahuku High and Intermediate School Green Club.

>> Ka‘ena Point, Mokule‘ia route — Partners include Friends of Ka‘ena and U.S. Army Garrison

>> Kailua and Lanikai beaches — Partners include Ocean Devotion Hawaii and Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii for beach cleanups on the Leeward side (much needed)

>>  Ma‘ili Point Beach Park, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (check-in at 9 a.m.) — Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is hosting this beach cleanup, which includes Nanakuli, Ma‘ili, Pokai Bay and Makaha, to be followed by an after party with live music and more from noon to 3 p.m.

Volunteers should bring sunscreen, refillable water bottles and gloves. Other items that are good to bring include buckets, colanders (to sift out plastic debris) and reusable rubbish bags.

Join the Surfrider Foundaton in cleaning up Sand Island on Saturday.

>> Sand Island Beach Cleanup, 9:30 a.m. to noon — The Surfrider Foundation's Oahu chapter is teaming up with Lyon to host a beach cleanup at Sand Island State Recreation Area. Start with a yoga warmup, sign in and start cleaning at 10 a.m. Please bring your own water bottle, a hat and sunscreen.

Last year, more than 500,000 volunteers picked up 10 million pounds of trash spanning nearly 18,000 miles of coastline during the annual International Coastal Cleanup. Do your part on Saturday.

Finally, recycling bins

August 19th, 2013
By



The city is inviting schools, community groups and volunteers to help make and install wire HI-5 bins around the island. Photo from Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services website, www.opala.org/solid_waste/learning_center/DIY_HI5_Public_Recycling_Containers.html.

Photo from www.opala.org.

Well, it's about time.

The city and county of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services has not only embraced the concept of DIY (do-it-yourself) recycling bins, but is inviting schools, community groups and volunteers to help make and install them at district parks, beaches and bus stops.

The city's goal is to install 1,000 of the HI-5 recycling bins around the island this year.

This month, Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai‘i was one of the first groups to step up to the plate and partner with the city for the project. B.E.A.C.H. brought together volunteers to learn how to make the wire recycling bins that they will install around Oahu while educating the public about the city's new no-smoking rules.

The wire recycling HI-5 bins were actually the original idea of University of Hawaii professors Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma as part of their non-profit Eating In Public project.

Read their blog at www.eating-in-public.blogspot.com.

They first made the bins in 2006, installing the first one in front of their home. The simple wire mesh bins come with a sign that says "HI-5/ Take, Leave, Whatevas..." The idea caught on and they were invited to give workshops.

The self-serve bins attach to existing trash containers to help keep recyclables separate. The city will not be picking up the recyclables.

Volunteers from Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii attend a city workshop to learn how to construct DIY HI-5 recycling bins. Photo courtesy B.E.A.C.H.

Volunteers from Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii attend a city workshop to learn how to construct DIY HI-5 recycling bins. Photo courtesy B.E.A.C.H.

The city's Department of Environmental Services is inviting volunteers who will commit to making between 50 to 200 of the recycling bins (city provides a workshop on how to make them) and then helping to install them at beaches, parks and bus stops around the island. The locations are to be documented on a web-based map. The city will provide the wire and signage for completed bins.

It would be great to see more of the bins at Oahu's most popular beach parks, like Hanauma Bay and Ala Moana Beach Park.

If you are nterested in participating, call 768--3200 or email tfarnsworth@honolulu.gov.

The following is Eating in Public's motto for the HI-5 bins:

TAKE = act without shame

LEAVE = share without condition

WHATEVAS = trust without apology

Rocka‘ako: Coastal cleanup, rock concert

August 8th, 2013
By



rockaakobannerweb1

Spend the day cleaning up the coastline at Kakaako beach, then stick around for a rock concert on Saturday (Aug. 10).

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is hosting the event on Saturday afternoon. Registration is at 1-2 p.m. at Kakaako Amphitheater. Help clean the coastline, whether it's picking up litter, cigarette butts or sifting out marine debris from 2 to 4 p.m. Please bring a reusable water bottle, reusable bags and reusable bags if you can (which will otherwise be provided).

From 4 to 7 p.m., enjoy live music by Tavana and Chaotic Five, plus food, keiki activities, educational booths and more.

Kakaako is becoming the new, hip and happening place, with a slew of new condos scheduled for construction over the next few years, along with new eateries, retail shops and food events like Eat The Street and Honolulu Night Market. This is Susatinable Coastline's first event in Kakaako.

Rocka‘ako is free and open to the public. If you won't be volunteering to clean up the coastline, a $10 donation is suggested for attending the concert. Visit sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org.

A Day on the Land

August 5th, 2013
By



A team of volunteers from HMSA helped clean graffiti off of stone bridges in Moanalua Valley as part of The Trust for Public Land's community work day Saturday. Courtesy photo.

A team of volunteers from HMSA helped clean graffiti off of stone bridges in Moanalua Valley as part of The Trust for Public Land's community work day Saturday. Courtesy photo.

More than 100 volunteers joined The Trust for Public Land for its community workday in Moanalua Valley on Saturday.

They cleared trails of leaves, branches and muddy debris strewn by recent high winds and rain, spread gravel along trail paths and painted over graffiti on stone bridges. It was all a part of "A Day on the Land," an effort to preserve an important, natural habitat with a rich, cultural heritage.

About 50 HECO volunteers helped spread gravel along the trail in Moanalua Valley as part of community work day. Courtesy photo.

HECO brought about 50 volunteers to help spread gravel along the trail in Moanalua Valley. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers braved both humidity and mosquitoes during their efforts Saturday.

The work day was sponsored by companies including Alaska Airlines, Alexander & Baldwin, Central Pacific Bank, First Insurance Co. of Hawaii, the Hawaiian Electric Co., HMSA, Makai Ocean Engineering, Servco Foundation and Title Guaranty.

HECO brought about 50 volunteers, some of whom brought their families, to the community work day. It was an opportunity to work side-by-side with the community and hike into areas of Moanalua Valley that are rarely accessible to the public, said HECO's director of education and consumer affairs Ka‘iulani de Silva.

Moanalua Valley is one of the last, truly open spaces in urban Honolulu (which narrowly escaped becoming a potential corridor for the H-3 freeway as well as residential development). It's home to five distinct forest types and more than nine miles of streams. The valley is  a critical habitat for endangered plants and animals, including the elepaio, and home to cultural important sites including a famed pohaku (stone) carved with petroglyphs of winged warriors.

The Trust for Public Land purchased Moanalua Valley in 2007 and transferred it to the state's Forest Reserve system where it will be protected in perpetuity.

More than 100 volunteers showed up to help at the Trust for Public Land's A Day on the Land at Moanalua Valley. Courtesy photo.

More than 100 volunteers showed up to help at the Trust for Public Land's A Day on the Land at Moanalua Valley. Courtesy photo.

Linda Howe from A & B helps clean graffiti from a bridge at Moanalua Valley as part of The Trust for Public Land's community work day. Courtesy photo.

Linda Howe from A & B helps clean graffiti from a bridge at Moanalua Valley as part of The Trust for Public Land's community work day. Courtesy photo. To learn of more community workdays, visit www.tpl.org/hawaii or call 524-8694.

Volunteers from HECO lent a helping hand at a Day on the Land in Moanalua Valley. Courtesy photo.

Volunteers from HECO lent a helping hand at a Day on the Land in Moanalua Valley. Courtesy photo.

Volunteering for the aina

June 19th, 2013
By



HECO volunteers participate in a four-hour workday helping to plant a rare type of banana tree in He‘eia for the non-profit group Papahana Kuaola. Photo courtesy HECO.

HECO volunteers participate in a four-hour workday helping to plant a rare type of banana tree in He‘eia for the non-profit group Papahana Kuaola. Photo courtesy HECO.

How about  a day working on the aina?

That's what some 200 volunteers from Hawaiian Electric Co. did earlier this month at Papahana Kuaola on their 70-acre kauhale in He‘eia on the windward side.

Papahana Kuaola is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to create quality educational programs focused on environmental restoration and economic sustainability "fully integrated with Hawaiian knowledge in order to exemplify a lifestyle respectful of kanaka, aina and akua."

HECO volunteers spent the four-hour workday helping to plant banana trees, remove weeds, gather and debark guava wood for construction of  building frames plus bundle pili grass for roof thatching. They also worked in the lo‘i, or taro patch.

"More importantly than what we are doing here physically on the land, is what all the people who participate get out of it," said Matt Schirman, program director for Papahana Kualoa. "Getting people outdoors in the environment in a place that makes them feel relaxed and welcome — it has a really good effect o people. It's a kind of feeling that I think more and more people need today especially with this fast-paced lifestyle that we have."

The newly constructed gardens by HECO volunteers will help extremely rare types of banana trees thrive, and the guava and pil grass bundles will become part of two "hale pili" where the community will be able to gather.

To learn more about volunteering, visit www.papahanakualoa.com.

Kakaako Beach Butt-Clearing

March 28th, 2013
By



The Surfrider Foundation hosts a beach cleanup at Point Panic at Kakaako Beach Park this Saturday (March 30) with a focus on cleaning up cigarette butts. Photo from planetearthandhumanity.blogspot.com.

The Surfrider Foundation hosts a beach cleanup at Point Panic at Kakaako Beach Park this Saturday (March 30) with a focus on cleaning up cigarette butts. Photo from planetearthandhumanity.blogspot.com.

The Surfrider Foundation hosts a "butt-clearing" and beach cleanup Saturday morning (March 30) at Point Panic at Kakaako.

Meet at Point Panic at 10 a.m. Look for flags and tents opposite the Kewalo Marine Laboratory.

This months' beach cleanups is focused on cleaning up cigarette butts, one of the most common items littered along the coastline. Volcano E-Cigs is offering the Surfrider Foundation 5 cents for each butt collected. Visit www.cigarettelitter.org to read published research about how cigarette butts cause harm to aquatic life.

Honolulu City Council, meanwhile, passed  Bill 72, which bans smoking at most East Oahu beaches, including Kapiolani Park, Kuhio Beach Park, Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, Sandy Beach Park and the beach side of Ala Moana Regional Park. The bill now goes to Mayor Kirk Caldwell for his signature.

The beach cleanup will tally up the items cleared from the coastline, followed by lunch provided by Blue Tree Cafe.

If you miss this beach cleanup, Divas Doing Good, the non-profit arm of Eden in Love and The Wedding Cafe at Ward Warehouse, has organized another one at Kakaako Beach Park from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at Kakaako Beach Park. There'll be games, prizes and all ages are welcome. Please RSVP by April 1 to shop@edeninlove.com.

North Shore Cleanup Saturday

February 28th, 2013
By



Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii for a beach cleanup on the North Shore Saturday (March 2). Meet at Turtle Bay Resort's West Lawn. Photo from sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org.

Join Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii for a beach cleanup on the North Shore Saturday (March 2). Meet at Turtle Bay Resort's West Lawn. Photo from sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org.

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is hosting a North Shore beach clean up from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 2). Meet at the West Lawn at Turtle Bay Resort and follow the blue flags. The general public as well as participants of Wanderlust Oahu Festival (a four-day yoga and music event) are welcome to attend.

Shuttles will transport volunteer teams to Kahuku Golf Course Beach and Kahuku Point at the James Campbell Wildlife Refuge to collect microplastics to be recycled by Method Home.

The whole family is welcome to participate. Some fun games include a hunt for hidden glass bottles during the cleanup to win prizes, including tickets to the evening Wanderlust concert featuring ALO and Kaki King, plus day passes to Sunday festival activities, as well as kids' clothing from Patagonia, Hurley and Quiksilver.

Water, a snack, gloves, tally sheets and other cleanup materials will be provided.

For more information, visit sustainablecoastlinesshawaii.org.