Environment

Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i

Most tourists come to Hawaiʻi on vacation for rest and relaxation, but there’s a popular trend in visitors coming to Hawaiʻi to volunteer their time and labor. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi steps into the world of volunteer tourism or “voluntourism.”

Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR).
Hawaii Marine Animal Response (HMAR).

On the Diamond Head end of Waikīkī, crowds of up to a hundred people have been reported along the boundaries set up on Kaimana beach to protect a monk seal and her pup.  The pup, born between June 27 and 28, is growing and getting stronger, prompting new and broader warnings from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr
Jeff Kubina / Flickr

Today on Bytemarks Café, we’ll find out about the March for Science taking place on Earth Day 2017. The March for Science pulls together groups from across the State to celebrate Earth and the importance of science to frame our understanding of our environment.

creative commons
creative commons

 

Hawaiian Monk Seal Population On The Rise

Jan 25, 2017
NOAA
NOAA

New data reveals some good news for Hawaiian monk seals. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, population numbers for the endangered species are on the rise. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Natural Resources Defense Council
Natural Resources Defense Council

The federal government has introduced a new plan to manage noise pollution in our waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlined a 10-year strategy, called the Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap, that aims to reduce impacts on marine mammals.

Flickr / velkr0
Flickr / velkr0

For the past year, shoppers on O‘ahu have not received single-use plastic bags at the checkout line. But in many grocery stores, thicker plastic bags that are considered reusable are still allowed. That’s a problem for environmentalists who are calling on the city and county to propose a better ban. 

A Solution to the Ala Wai Pollution Problem?

Jul 7, 2016
Flickr / Daniel Ramirez
Flickr / Daniel Ramirez

A campaign is raising funds for a solution to the Ala Wai’s pollution problem.  HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on how an innovative approach could be coming to Hawai‘i.

Flickr / U.S. Pacific Fleet
Flickr / U.S. Pacific Fleet

Starting today, the largest international maritime exercise begins in Hawai‘i. The Rim of the Pacific, also known as RIMPAC, is in its 25th year since the military training exercise begin in 1971. Parts of it involve explosives and underwater sonar -- a point of concern for environmental groups. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

One of Hawai‘i’s oldest and most culturally important native trees is under siege from a mysterious disease. So far more than 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a trees have died, and it's left scientists scrambling for a solution. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Big Island forest where it all began.

About 40 minutes south of Hilo, in the Leilani Estates subdivision in lower Puna, is what scientists are calling ground zero for Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

Merrie Monarch Without Ohia?

Feb 17, 2016
Merrie Monarch Festival
Merrie Monarch Festival

With Merrie Monarch approaching late next month, hula hālau across the state are beginning to prepare for the upcoming festival on Hawai‘i Island. For some that means gathering plants and flowers that represent the mele, or song. It’s a tradition that’s brought countless hālau into native ‘ōhi‘a forests, where the lehua blossom grows. But a rapidly spreading disease is prompting some to call for an all-out ban this year. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

HFIA
HFIA

The philosophy of Mahalo ʻĀina is simple: to help ensure a thriving future for forest restoration and education programs.  The forest provides us with environmental, economic, and cultural benefits, but we must also understand that we must give back to the forest.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Hawaiʻi has been called by some 'the endangered species capital of the world', but it may not be known as such for long.  There is a group of people working to stem the tide of plant species loss in the islands.  They are the men and women of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

Fountain Grass originates from Africa and was introduced to Hawaiʻi Island in the 20th century.  It has become a major threat due to its adaptation to fire.  The wild fires that sometimes rage on the Kona coast destroy native plants and clear the way for fountain grass to move in.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Palila bird is a small, unassuming bird with a magnificent golden crown and breast.  Despite it's modest size, it is royalty among native species and an icon for bird conservation in the Hawaiian Islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wildfires

Feb 3, 2016
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Wildfires are an issue for all islands in the state. The destruction caused by wildfires can potentially affect everything from native forests, watersheds, and agricultural production through to drinking water, cultural resources, and of course human safety.  The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization is dedicated to controlling the wildfire threat.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Watershed

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The forested watershed is the well from which life in the islands spring. Without it soils would erode into the oceans, coral reefs and fishing would be devastated. Water supplies would vanish, leaving the islands exposed to threats such as drought, a consequence of which would be immeasurable economic and environmental chaos.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Big Island Invasive Species Committee
Big Island Invasive Species Committee

Invasive species threaten the well being of native flora and fauna. This threat takes many forms, a fungus, a disease, a plant or animal. The legacy of the presence of invasive species is felt across the islands. On Hawai'i island, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is conducting outreach and education projects, and building strategies to combat invasive species.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Hoary Bat

Feb 3, 2016
Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The Hoary Bat is Hawaiʻi's only native land mammal. It can be found throughout a variety of terrain and elevations, from sea level to the summits of Hawaiʻi's highest mountains. The Hoary Bat population has suffered tremendous decline due to habitat destruction, pesticides, and predation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

Many shipments of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest have been found to be riddled with slugs, which can carry a dangerous parasite that can prove deadly to humans. To combat this threat, the Hawaiʻi Forest Institute has started a local Christmas tree demonstration project called ʻĀina Mauna Christmas. 

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The ʻōhiʻa tree is a statewide symbol of Hawaiʻi's forests. Over the past five years, ʻōhiʻa appear to be dying rapidly and under mysterious circumstances from a microscopic enemy. By limiting the transport of diseased woods, we can stop the disease making its way to other islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Koa Forest

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Prized for its beautiful wood product, koa is one of the most valuable woods on the planet. Restoring koa forests is a profitable practice. Economics, in part, is driving the conservation and restoration of this legendary tree.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Silversword

Feb 3, 2016
Jane Peterson
Jane Peterson

The Silversword is uniquely adapted to life on the high altitude volcanic substrate of Hawaiʻi's mountains. An extensive conservation effort is underway to preserve these plants in the wild.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The designation of state flower would lead one to believe that the Hawaiian Hibiscus is prolific amongst the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, the populations of these plants are staggeringly small. The primary reason: habitat degradation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service

nce described as the most common native land bird to be found on the island, the Oʻahu ʻelepaio has now become an endangered species. Through the Endangered Species Act, five areas of critical habitat have been designated for the bird.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

The breeding cycle of the Hawaiian Hawk leaves it vulnerable to the decline that is faced by raptors the world over. The Io is now the subject of intense study by conservationists seeking to better understand the bird itself, its breeding habits, survival, and populations.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

What happens when two species humans are acting to preserve clash head on? This is the case with the Alala, the Hawaiian Crow, and the Io, the Hawaiian Hawk.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

We are all stewards of the ʻāina; we cannot rely on conservationists alone to shoulder the burden.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

When we think of forests under threat, we often think of the tropical rainforest; however, on the island of Hawaiʻi, it is the dryland forest that is far more endangered.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Pollinators

Feb 3, 2016
www.uhbeeproject.com/
www.uhbeeproject.com/

The pollinators are the work horse of the forest. They are the mammals, birds, and insects that perform the invaluable act of pollination. The pollinators themselves are not without their enemies in the natural world.

Christopher Phillips explains...

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