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Friday, April 21, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, April 21, 2023

Forecasting arrival of marine debris to Hawaiian waters and deploying rapid removals at sea are aims of a new project funded by
the federal Department of Commerce. See more below. Photo from Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project

SATURDAY IS EARTH DAY. A message from the County Department of Environmental Mangement says Earth Day is "dedicated to celebrate Earth's life, beauty and the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends. Get involved. Start recycling or encourage others to recycle. Start or join a community clean-up. Have a garage/yard sale or donate reusable items to charity instead of throwing them away. Replace energy wasting devices and conserve
energy. There are endless ways to act to preserve our precious environment and Hawai‘i nei."
    The county's www.hawaiizerowaste.org explains that during "the 1969 National UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, social activist John McConnell proposed an Earth Day to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The proposal won strong support and was followed by an Earth Day Proclamation by the City of San Francisco. The idea, supported by U. N. Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead and many others, spread worldwide. The ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell at the moment of the March Equinox on Earth Day has become a tradition.
     The Democratic senator, Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, eventually founded the first nationwide Earth Day that was celebrated on 22 April 1970. Inspired by the protest movements of the 1960s, twenty million Americans took to the streets to demonstrate for a cleaner environment. In the aftermath, President Richard M. Nixon proposed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in July 1970 and Congress passed the Clean Air (1970), Clean Water (1972), and Endangered Species (1973) Acts. The 2010 Earth Day, now celebrated worldwide, is its 40th anniversary."

Saturday is the beginning of nine days of National
Park Week, kicking off with free admission and
Journey to the Summit. NPS Photo by Janice Wei
EARTH DAY IS FEE-FREE FOR ENTRANCE TO HAWAI'I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK. Saturday is the start of National Park Week and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and all fee-charging national parks are open to the public at no charge.
    Hawai'i Volcanoes kicks off nine days of celebrating National Parks Week on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a family adventure called Journey at the Summit at both the Volcano and Kahuku units. 
    Participants receive an adventure pack with directions to activity stations located in the park. Roll the dice at each adventure station to learn what the family’s quest will entail. Stations are located within a half mile of Kīlauea Visitor Center and at Kahuku. Once the quests are complete, return to the welcome tent to claim a prize. Welcome tents are at Kīlauea Visitor Center the Kahuku Visitor Contact Station.

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WORTH OF WATER IS THE TITLE OF A SCULPTURE PROJECT WITH A CALL TO ARTISTS. Volcano Art Center invites artists to submit proposals in the form of a drawing with descriptive notes or photos of three views of a 3-D maquette for stand alone sculptures or conceptual installations. The aim is to  express the Worth of Water in all its forms, including its sound, shape, interaction with other

environmental elements or creatures, impacts, and/or the cultural value of water.
    Professional artists, amateur artists, and university students in an art program are invited to submit original works. Deadline to apply is May 15th.
    The Worth of Water Exhibit will be installed at the outdoor Niaulani Sculpture Garden and the show will be from Nov. 26 through Jan. 10, The sculpture garden is uniquely situated adjacent to an old growth native rain forest and features a loop trail, designed by landscape architect David Tamura. It provides inviting areas for viewing sculptures.
    Volcano Art Center illustrates the Worth of Water Exhibit Concept with an explanation about water from Mary Kwena Pukui, during a 1975 interview with Kepa Maly:
    “The Hawaiian word for water is wai. The Hawaiian word for wealth is waiwai; wai is doubled, or said twice. When you have wai you have life, the ability to sustain yourself upon the land. And the water is believed to be from the god Kāne i ka wai ola, Kāne the giver of the water of life. The Hawaiian word for spring of water is pūnāwai. Pūnāwai or puʻuna-wai described a place where water bubbles up from the ground (rising like a hill or a mound), it is the source of water.
    'The Hawaiian word kūpuna, may be translated as –kū (standing at) puna (source of water); kūpuna are those who stand at the water source…it is that our elders are those who stand at the source of knowledge. They stand at the well-spring gained by years of their life…”

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FUNDING WILL FOCUS ON THE COAST AND NEARSHORE WATERS TO HELP MAKE HAWAI'I COMMUNITIES AND THE ECONOMY MORE RESILIENT to climate change. Vice President Kamala Harris announced Friday that Department of Commerce has recommended $26 million for projects across Hawai'i. The projects include:
    Nets to Roads: Innovative Research to Scale-up Removal and Repurposing of Derelict Fishing Gear is a project to receive $2.9 million for Hawai'i Sea Grant through the Marine Debris Challenge Competition. In cooperation with University of Hawai', the goal is to accelerate removal of large plastic marine debris across the entire Hawaiian archipelago and recycle it into public infrastructure. The team
will build and test an oceanographic model to forecast the arrival of large marine debris in nearshore waters of Hawai'i to enable rapid at-sea removals, then create a centralized, relational database that captures critical information about each distinct large marine debris item at multiple stages. 
    This project aims to contribute to a circular economy in which 40 tons of ocean plastics are recycled into public asphalt roads annually in the state of Hawai'i.
    Development of New Detecting, Cutting, and Lifting Technologies to Increase Efficiency of Derelict Fishing Gear Removal is also a Sea Grant program to receive $1.8 million through the Marine Debris Challenge Competition for.  Goal is to utilize unmanned aerial vehicles and test commercially available electric diver propulsion vehicles to determine the effectiveness of identifying and geo-locating large derelict fishing gear in Hawai'i's shallow waters and reduce the survey time. This project aims to develop innovative solutions for the mitigation and clean-up of derelict fishing gear in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument that, when scaled up, have the potential to positively impact derelict fishing gear removal efficiency worldwide.
    Pacific Islands Marine Debris Community Action Coalition is a third Sea Grant Program to receive $299,000 to extend its Marine Debris Action Plan efforts to include partners throughout the Pacific region, such as Guam and American Samoa, who are disproportionately affected by marine debris due to their locations and insufficient waste infrastructure. The Coalition will connect communities not traditionally engaged with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions and the business sector to build partnerships to more comprehensively and effectively address marine debris.
    Other projects around the state to be funded:
    REEFrame: Restoration of Severely Degraded Coral Reefs will focus on urban areas where permanent concrete reef framework structures will be build to become coral nurseries and attract reef
Creating coral nurseries by installing concrete framework can lead to the 
 restoration of natural reefs in degraded nearshore waters. Photo from DLNR
species known to benefit corals, leading to restoration of coral reefs.
    Holistic Community-led Habitat Restoration in a Hawaiian Context will employ the traditional Native Hawaiian-based ridge-to-reef ahupua'a strategy will be used to address habitat degradation in watersheds o heavily urbanized areas. From the mountain regions, flatlands, and streams that connect them to the coral reefs in the bay itself, this restoration investment will create watersheds and reefs that withstand future climate conditions. The project will focus on including Native Hawaiian communities and organizations in the restoration work, to build capacity and inspiration for future restoration efforts.
    A Coastal Dunes and Wetlands program will restore flow of water to taro fields and fish pondand build a ridge-to-reef model for collaborative land and ocean stewardship by engaging the community through outreach meetings, workshops, volunteer workdays, and educational activities.
    A Coral Community Dive Program will engage community in coral reef conservation and reduce barriers to environmental work for Native Hawaiians. It will provide professional certifications and training in coral restoration to local residents, and conduct on-the-ground coral restoration at community selected sites to help build coastal resilience. 
     A statement on the funding says it will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities. The awards are made under the Biden Administration's Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act.
     Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said restoration of coastal reefs and coastal habitats are "central to the Aloha State's culture and economy. The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to be making a significant investment in restoring many of these important habitats, cleaning up marine debris, and ensuring Climate-Ready Coasts in Hawai'i."
    Administered by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; build the capacity of underserved communities and support community-driven restoration; and provide employment opportunities.
    NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Phd. said, "These historic investments will ensure long-term protection and preservation of Hawai'i's most beloved coral reef ecosystems. NOAA is proud to recommend these projects to help coastal communities invest in their future, remove marine debris, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change."
    Sen. Mazie Hirono said, "Climate change has already had detrimental consequences in Hawaii and around the world. As ocean temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, we must prioritize sustainable climate solutions that protect our coastlines and the communities that call them home. With this funding, NOAA is investing in community-driven solutions to build more resilient infrastructure and help combat the impacts of climate change. I'm glad to see this federal funding coming to Hawaii and I will continue working to protect Hawaii's environment and coastline for future generations."
    Sen. Brian Schatz said, "This is very exciting, because there are so many excellent organizations doing important work to save our water and our land, and they just need a bit more financial support to expand their efforts. These dollars will go a long way towards taking care of our home." 
    Congressman Ed Case said, "There can be no doubt anymore about climate change's impact on our oceans and coastlines as it is the reality we face today throughout our Hawai'i and our Pacific 'ohana. Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act are generational efforts to combat this reality, and these coastal and nearshore waters resiliency projects implement appropriate measures to mitigate the effects of climate change-induced sea level rise and other weather pattern disruptions."
Image from State of Hawai'i Climate Portal at www.climate.haawaii.gov
    Congresswoman Jill Tokuda said, "I'm pleased to celebrate the news that Hawai'i is receiving crucial funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Ready Coasts initiative to help our state respond to the climate emergency. Hawai'i is on the front lines of climate change and already experiencing severe impacts from changing weather patterns. We have roads that are on the verge of falling into the ocean, farmers that are combating drought and emerging diseases, and infrastructure that needs to be strengthened and adapted to withstand more intense storms. I applaud this funding from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which will not only result in better environmental outcomes, but also boost local job creation, expand community engagement, and have a long-lasting impact throughout our entire state."
Janessa Jara (center) welcomed members of CU
Hawai'i Federal Credit Union to Appreciation Day
on Friday in Pāhala, with gifts, including this umbrella
received by Danarie Dacalio and Dre Dacalio with
Rose Marine Navarro. Photo by Julia Neal
     The projects funded tie in with State of Hawai'i's climate mitigation goals. See the state Climate Change Portal at www.climate.hawaii.gov.

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branches of CU Hawai'i Federal Credit Union.
    CU Hawai'i provided surprise giveaways. Members spun a wheel of fortune to with the needle landing on the name of a gift to receive.                          
    At Nā'ālehu, members also signed entries to win cash prizes. From their own homes and offices, members could also click online:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RJBP8HL.
    CU Hawai'i Pāhala branch is located in the macadamia building on Pikake Street and is open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. The Nā'ālehu branch is on Hwy 11 in the core of Nā'ālehu town and is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. See www.cuhawaii.com.

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Curtis Higashi, Jay Taganas and Tyren Fukanaga-Camba erect a glass
 greeting and security station at the entrance to Kaʻū Hospital in Pāhala. 
Photo by Julia Neal

A NEW GLASS GREETING AND SECURITY STATION FOR KAʻŪ HOSPITAL & EAST HAWAI'I HEALTH CLINIC went up this week in Pāhala, put together by Jay Taganas and his crew Curtis Higashi and Tyren Fukanaga-Camba.
    The campus for hospital and clinic is at the entrance to Pāhala  at 1 Kamani Street at the corner of Hwy 11.
    The facility offers a 24/7 emergency department, inpatient medical and rehabilitation care, long-term care, adult day health, immunizations, x-ray and lab services, in addition to an on-site family practice rural health clinic.The clinic offers urgent care and appointments and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., closed on weekends and holidays. Its Family Medicine practitioner is Jennifer Shrestha, Md. Call 808-932-4205. See more services from hospital and clinic online at https://www.easthawaiihealthclinics.org/east-hawaii-health-clinic-at-kau/.

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Volcano Thursday Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See Volcano Evening Market facebook.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.