Public invited to free Zoom presentation about unique collaboration of 7 environmental projects funded by Maui CARES
Program provided employment for more than 70 Maui and Molokai residents
“It’s like Maui County’s own version of the Civilian Conservation Corps”
KIHEI, HI – During the Great Depression, the government-sponsored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided paychecks for 3 million unemployed young men and provided valuable labor for conservation projects across the country.
With unemployment at record levels due to COVID-19, a new program followed this historical CCC model and put more than 70 Maui and Molokai residents to work in November, providing seven local conservation nonprofits with needed labor to benefit coral reefs, cultural resources and the environment.
The public is invited to a free presentation on Weds. January 27 at 5:30 pm on Zoom to learn about this unique collaborative employment and workforce training program and the impact it had on our local environment. The presentation will include videos, photos and firsthand accounts of the projects and accomplishments, with information on how the projects incorporated traditional Hawaiian cultural practices and modern technology to prevent sediment pollution in the ocean and protect valuable cultural resources.
It’s free, but registration is required. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/mauiCARES
This unique collaborative employment and workforce training program was made possible through the County of Maui Office of Economic Development’s Maui CARES program, which was funded by the Federal CARES Act. As the fiscal sponsor, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council oversaw the administration of the Maui CARES funding for the projects and managed the rapid employment of more than 70 new hires with the help of simplicityHR by ALTRES.
The workers participated in conservation and restoration projects in Olowalu, Waihe’e, Keanae, Kipahulu, Hana and Moloka’i. All of the projects were rooted in Hawaiian cultural practices and values which serve as the foundation of our community. Their work was filmed by Inflatable Film of Kula. The evening will include video premieres exclusively for webinar attendees.
“Through this presentation, attendees will be immersed in a virtual experience to feel the importance of Kuleana, ʻOhana, Kōkua, Aloha ʻAina, Mālama ʻAina, and Hānai ʻAina, said Ekolu Lindsey, President of Maui Cultural Lands and a principal organizer of this program. “Be inspired to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before us, as we share our legacies with you.”
The participating nonprofits include:
Ka Honua Momona on Molokai worked to restore two ancient fishponds, which will help trap sediment before it reaches the open ocean – with the benefit of also producing fish for local people.
Kipahulu ‘Ohana in East Maui improved a lo’i, or wetland taro farm. The taro plants will slow the flow of stormwater, allowing time for sediment in the water to settle, rather than flow out to sea.
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust in Waihe’e worked to remove invasive species along approximately 3,000 linear feet of Kalepa Stream to lower sediment loads in the nearshore waters off Waihe’e and protect offshore corals.
Ke Ao Hali‘i (KAH) in Hana worked on 27 acres of publicly owned land at Mokae/Kaholaiki and another ~2 acres of contiguous land, directly above Hamoa Beach. Their project included invasive plant removal and native habitat restoration for seabirds and insects, and a biological survey of ‘opihi as a baseline for a possible ‘opihi rest area in the future.
Kipuka Olowalu in West Maui reestablished washed out and damaged lo’i (taro fields), rebuilt vanished lo’i and prepared lo’i for planting in the Olowalu Cultural Reserve. Workers removed overgrowth, fire hazards and invasive plants; planted native plants and crops and repaired infrasturcture.
Na Moku ‘Aupuni O Ko‘olau Hui in East Maui worked on watershed management and stream maintenance, as well as stream and ditch monitoring in the East Maui Irrigation system to establish accurate data for stream and ditch flow and loss as a basis for making sound future management decisions related to this resource and delivery infrastructure. Each of the nonprofits will be presenting their work and accomplishments through photos, video and stories from the field.
Na Mamo o Mu‘olea in East Maui focused on land and shoreline management on a county parcel (which Nā Mamo O Mū’olea has a 50 year lease). It included removal of invasive plants around a rock wall that is on the historic registry, and preparation for wall restorations, maintenance of two heiau on the property, installation of new fencing around an area designated for native trees and medicinal plants, and maintenance and repair of feral animal controls.
“This presentation is a celebration of all that was accomplished and learned,” said Lindsey. “We encourage the public to attend to connect with these organizations and the workers who put heart and soul into these challenging and impactful projects.“
The emcees for this event are Ekolu Lindsey and Darla Palmer-Ellingson, local radio show host of the public affairs program, Island Environment 360 Maui’s only commercially broadcast public affairs show on environmental and related Hawaiian cultural topics, aired on the stations of H-Hawaii Media.
About Maui Nui Marine Resource Council
Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is a community-based nonprofit organization celebrating 13 years of working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and abundant native fish throughout Maui County. Our work includes co-managing the Hui O Ka Wai Ola Ocean Water Quality Monitoring Program in South and West Maui, efforts to reduce pollution in Mā‘alaea Bay (through erosion-control efforts in the Pohakea watershed and using oysters to filter sediment and pollutants from ocean water), coral reef research, visitor education programs and more. Learn more at www.mauireefs.org.