• Could Native Plants Help Save Our Coral Reefs? (Free Online webinar) Sept. 23, 2021

    September 10, 2021
    Could native plants help save our coral reefs? (Online webinar)
    Thursday, September 23 • 1 to 3 p.m. HST

    Could native plants help save our coral reefs? Learn more about the promising results from a research project we conducted in partnership with Roth Ecological Design International and Terraformation at an online presentation on Thursday, September 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. HST. Our Phytoremediation Assessment of Native Hawaiian Plants study sought to measure the potential of ahu‘awa and ‘aka‘akai to reduce nitrogen levels in nearshore environments as well as their ability to acclimate to higher salinity levels. Nitrogen entering coastal environments from cesspools and stormwater runoff can contribute to increased algae blooms that inhibit coral growth and vitality; this research project was commissioned to determine if native plants could assist in uptaking and reducing this key coral stressor. Register online or contact Cindi Punihaole, director of our Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center program, at cpunihaole@kohalacenter.org or 808-887-6411 to sign up or for more information. Mahalo to Gerbode Foundation, Keahole Center for Sustainability, and numerous individual donors for their support of this applied research project.

    ‘Āina gifted to us in Niuli‘i continues to gift us with deeper connections to North Kohala, its people, and native plants that provide an abundance of materials to perpetuate ancestral Hawaiian practices. In August our Mālama Niuliʻi team gathered with ulana lauhala practitioners in-person and virtually to learn about the ulu hala of Niuliʻi and further our own skills as practitioners. We learned how to identify a good lauhala for weaving: one who is strong and supple with consistent color. We were taught to harvest and clean the popopo leaves from the canopy so that the pūhala produces longer and wider leaves. Preparation and weaving helped us to get to know the leaves even more by using all of our senses. Learning from practitioners is helping to grow our kilo skills and recognize indicators of healthy pūhala. Together we considered ways to preserve the ulu hala of Niuliʻi and the important traditions of ulana lauhala as an ʻāina-stewarded community. Contact Mia Akau-LaClair, our community and resource relations manager, at makaulaclair@kohalacenter.org or 808-887-6411 for more information.
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