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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, July 16, 2023

Miloli'i's Kalanihale community organization which recently held its Lawai'a Camp with a focus on corals, welcomes a new
called Ākoʻakoʻa to build and restore the reefs. Photo from Hawai'i Marine Education & Research Center

THE MILOLI'I COMMUNITY'S EFFORT TO PRESERVE AND RESTORE ITS CORAL REEF AND SUSTAINABLE NATIVE FISHERY is set to receive support from a new effort from Arizona State University and partners. It's called Ākoʻakoʻa and ASU describes it as "a new collaborative effort to seed renewed connection between human, coral communities in Hawai'i."
    ASU recently released an online story about the effort, quoting Ka'imi Kaupiko, President of Kalanihale in Miloli'i, who recently completed a Lawai'a Camp summer session with students focusing on coral. He said, “We support the work of ASU and the Hawai'i Marine Education & Research Center to malama (care for) the corals of west Hawai'i. The reefs from Ūpolu to Ka Lae are one of the most diverse systems in all of Hawai'i, but with the effects of climate change, we need to be proactive in caring for them.” ASU describes Kalanihale as "a grassroots organization designed to improve the educational, environmental and

Ka'imi Kaupiko and Lawai'a Camp goers in the waters of Miloli'i.
Photo from Hawai'i Marine Education & Research Center

cultural well-being of community members of Miloliʻi and South Kona."
    ASU reports that a key part of the collaboration with communities like Miloli'i is a new state-of-the-art coral research and propagation facility located at the joint Ridge to Reef Restoration Center in Kailua-Kona. The center is under construction now in partnership with a land restoration organization called Terraformation. The coral facility will be the largest in the world when completed and will become the hub for testing corals for subsequent reef restoration. “These resources are an exciting development for the multiple partners and communities working closely together to scale up active coral restoration in Hawaii,” said Carrie Selberg Robinson, director of the NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation.
    ʻĀkoʻakoʻa shares a dual meaning: 'to assemble' and 'coral.' “For decades, our original program focused on diagnosing land and reef problems using high-tech satellite, airborne and field technologies,” said Greg Asner, director of ASU’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science and a longtime resident of Hawai'i. “The new program further expands this diagnostic work, but it focuses far more effort on interventions that support Hawai'i’s communities, both coral and human, as one force.” Asner said lessons learned in ʻĀkoʻakoʻa will be shared with communities across the state and worldwide. “Our successes and failures will lead to new perspectives and know-how, which will be broadcast to a network of partners and participants through our Allen Coral Atlas program and ASU School of Ocean Futures. As a stage for the integration of cultural practice, management and science, ʻĀkoʻakoʻa will seed a deeper connection between human and coral communities in an era of climate change.”

Local students studying the Miloli'i Reef. Photo from Hawai'i Marine Education & Research Center
    Brian Neilson, head of Hawai'i state's Division of Aquatic Resources, said ʻĀkoʻakoʻa is a visionary program that can set a powerful path forward for the future. Restoring and enhancing our coral reefs takes a fusion of stewardship, management and high-tech science. ʻĀkoʻakoʻa will be a major example of this blended process for west Hawai'i. We are pleased to partner with ASU's education and research programs in developing and implementing restoration approaches that will benefit communities along the west Hawai'i coastline.”
   In its own publication, ASU stated that the aim of the new collaboration is to "preserve and restore vitality to Hawai'i's coral reefs and the health of its coastlines. The community-based effort looks to fuse state-of-the-art science programs with the leadership and cultural knowledge of Hawai'i’s community partners to enable coastal and reef sustainability for generations to come."
    ʻĀkoʻakoʻa will operate with a donation of $15 million from the Dorrance family and Dorrance Family Foundation, plus funds from U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s office, state Department of Land & Natural Resources' Division of Aquatic Resources, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and ASU. “It is our kuleana to protect and care for what we love, our coral reefs and the species they harbor, and all of Hawai'i,” said Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance in a joint statement. “Success in saving our reefs relies on ‘laulima,’ many hands working together. The Dorrance family and the Dorrance Family Foundation hope this investment ignites action and vital funding, and we encourage others to join us in support of this tremendous effort. The time is now.”
    The ASU story further quotes Asner, an ASU
Students help to survey the health of the Miloli'i reef.
Photo from Hawai'i Marine Education & Research Center
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
scientist and director of ASU’s research program in Hawai'i. He said that said corals are critical to reef biodiversity and home to millions of marine species, which dot the seafloor with a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. He added that corals are also the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to our collective behavior — where corals flourish, land and sea are usually well stewarded.
    The ASU story also notes that "over the past 50 years, Hawaiian coral communities have undergone an alarming decline due to pollution, climate change and overfishing. Asner's group has spent the last decade monitoring these impacts, from the land, sea and air; from ocean heat waves to agricultural runoff to the chemistry of the oceans. He said it’s finally time to turn the tide by more deeply connecting human and coral communities for a more resilient future. That notion was seconded by several of Hawaii’s most respected community leaders who are key partners in the initiative."

  According to the ASU story, Cindi Punihaole, of Kohala Center, said that her "elders stressed the 
importance of the relationship between the uplands and the sea, and that for everything in the ocean, there
is a partner on the land." She said, “The land partner is to protect its ocean partner. We are taught to ‘mālama i ka ʻāina’ (care for and respect the land. When the land is healthy and clean, water flows to the shores, then our corals and fish will flourish. We strive for a world of balance and righteousness.”
    ASU announced: "With major contributions from community leaders, cultural practitioners, ecologists, data scientists and global information systems experts, the initial core focus for restorative work will be on the western side of the Hawai'i Island, comprising 120 miles of reef and one of the largest coral communities in the Hawai'i Archipelago. 

   Dr. Greg Asner with Hawaiian students.          
Photo from Arizona State University.
   Collectively, the west Hawai'i coastline harbors a huge range of human and coral conditions. The responsibility for this type of ocean care is enormous but in proven collaborative hands, said one nonprofit leader who works closely with the university."
    ASU President Michael M. Crow said ʻĀkoʻakoʻa and the university’s engagement in Hawai'i stems from its official charter, which includes commitments to “advance research and discovery of public value” and to “assume fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves. We recognize that the health of our planet is tied to the health of countless interconnected systems,” Crow said. “What happens on land affects the health of our oceans, so threats to our coral reefs stand to impact everyone. This collaboration represents the vast potential to accelerate positive change by joining scientific knowledge and cultural wisdom to address a critically important challenge facing our world.”

CALVIN MAY ARRIVE SOON ENOUGH, says South Point resident Richard Taylor who caught this photo Sunday looking out to sea. "Two days ahead, all of a sudden the wind picks up a little, the horizon clears from the summer mist and the first breath of once Himmicane Calvin, now storm, is here. The thing spans half the distance to the mainland, the center is more than 750 nm away, and it has been traveling directly at us for more than fifteen hundred like an arrow for the last 5 days."
Before Calvin, a view from South Point out to sea.
Photo by Richard Taylor
    The National Weather Service 5 p.m. forcast says says that a Tropical Storm Watch may be required tonight:                  
    "Although water temperatures should increase slightly while the cyclone approaches Hawai'i, drier mid-level air as well as increasingly strong vertical shear should cause gradual weakening over the next couple of days.                                      "Nonetheless, the dynamical guidance, such as the HAFS and GFS models, suggests that Calvin will still be producing winds near tropical-storm-force, at least over its northern semicircle, when it nears the Hawaiian Islands....A mid-level ridge to the north of the tropical cyclone should maintain a generally westward motion for the next few days. On this track, Calvin should enter the central Pacific basin soon, and move near or over the Big Island of Hawai'i early Wednesday. It should then continue westward, becoming post-tropical on Thursday before dissipating. While the exact storm track near Hawai'i is still uncertain, there is potential for portions of the state to experience some heavy rainfall, dangerous surf and rip current conditions, along with minor wind impacts from Calvin."

REMEMBERING LAST WEEKEND'S RODEO: Here are some of the winners accepting their buckles from Rodeo Queen ShaniaLee Silva and Kaʻū Roping & Riding Association at the two-day event at Nā'ālehu Rodeo Grounds last Saturday and Sunday. The event was organized by Tammy Ka'apana who can be reached for sponsorship and entering future events at 808-854-7017. See more buckle winners in previous Ka'u News Briefs and The Ka'u Calendar facebook.

Alan Hanoa and Warren Hanoa win Century Team Roping at
the Kaʻū Roping & Riding Rodeo on July 8 and 9.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgely

Hilai Karratti wins Youth Barrels at
Kaʻū Roping & Riding Rodeo.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgely

Chiyono Ramos wins Goat Undecorating for the
5 to 8 year olds at Kaʻū Roping & Riding Rodeo.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgley
Ella Mae Jose wins Goat Undecorating for the 4
and under group at Kaʻū Roping & Riding Rodeo.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgley

Kaʻū Roping & Riding Dummy Roping
winner for 5-8 year olds is Whip Stevens.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgely

Bronson Branco and Macey Lonado take the buckles for
the Kane Wahine Ribbon Mugging at the Kaʻū Roping
& Riding Rodeo. Photo by Joy Marie Ridgely

Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
See the July edition of The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper