coastal protection

750 Trees Find New Homes in the Mountains of Waianae

“Dozens of volunteers got down and dirty to plant roughly 750 trees on Oahu’s west side.” Credit: DLNR.

“Dozens of volunteers got down and dirty to plant roughly 750 trees on Oahu’s west side.” Credit: DLNR.

Important work being done by our partners from the Waianae Mountains Watershed Partnership and DLNR to reforest Waianae Kai State Forest Reserve, which will create a more resilient landscape and reduce the wildfire risk in the area. If you want to get involved with the planting events, you’re asked to contact coordinator Yumi Miyata at (808) 227-9545, or

From the Source:

“The Enterprise Urban Tree Initiative brings our employees together to volunteer in communities like Waianae that have been devastated by natural disasters, such as wildfires,” said Chris Sbarbaro, Enterprise Hawaii Vice President of External Affairs. “We support the Arbor Day Foundation and its partners in their efforts to build strong communities from the ground up and create a sustainable and inclusive future for all.”

The need to restore Oahu’s west side comes as a dry spell started to hit Nanakuli, and is likely to move toward Waianae during the normally hot and dry summer months.

“Unfortunately, wildfires have become more frequent in Waianae. The cycle of infrequent, heavy rain followed by dry, hot and windy weather creates the perfect conditions for fast-moving, intense fire. A recent fire in August 2018 burned more than 1,500 acres of the forest reserve, threatening native forests important for water recharge,” said Yumi Miyata, Waiʻanae Mountains Watershed Partnership Coordinator and Chair of Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships.

Restoration of Forest Key to Fire Control, Expert Says

Dr. Trauernicht gives background on the wildfire issue in Maui and across the state. Credit: The Maui News

Dr. Trauernicht gives background on the wildfire issue in Maui and across the state. Credit: The Maui News

Great article on the wildfire issue in Hawaii based on a recent talk by our close partner, Dr. Clay Trauernicht of University of Hawaii CTAHR Cooperative Extension / Pacific Fire Exchange. Also, important identification of the need for more funding for forest restoration and fire prevention by another close partner of ours, Chris Brosius, program manager of the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership.

From the Source:

The causes of most fires are unknown. Out of 12,000 recorded incidents statewide from 2000 to 2011, only 882, or about 7 percent, had a determined cause. Of those, 72 percent were accidental, which also means they’re preventable, Trauernicht said at Wednesday’s meeting in the Pacific Whale Foundation’s classrooms in Maalaea. That’s why part of the solution is public education on the risks of fire and how to avoid sparking a fire.

That’s why it’s important to find ways to change the landscape to less sensitive and less flammable vegetation, he said. Statewide, non-native grasses and shrubland cover 25 percent of the total land; in Maui County, it’s 36 percent.

“Rather than trying to weed wack or spray to kill the grass, maybe you should think about a more permanent strategy, like planting trees to shade those grasses out,” Trauernicht said. “In other words, converting that vegetation to something that’s less likely to burn.”

“We can really only do two things,” Trauernicht explained. “We can target ignitions . . . and the only thing we have direct control over is the vegetation.”

“A lot of people think about jumping right into fuels management,” he said. “One of the big things is just having access and safer conditions and water for firefighters. So I think some of the more immediate things is ensuring they have the safest conditions.”

Four Acre Alan Davis Beach Fire in East Oahu Extinguished

“Firefighters working to put out a brush fire on Oahu’s east side.” Credit: Hawaii News Now

“Firefighters working to put out a brush fire on Oahu’s east side.” Credit: Hawaii News Now

The area of the fire is known for remnant native trees and plants that are a vibrant sight to see in Kaiwi. You can volunteer to be a part of the restoration efforts of this remarkable coastline here:

From the Source:

Honolulu firefighters responded to a brush fire near Alan Davis Beach on Saturday.

Due to muddy off road conditions, crews were unable to access the fire with fire trucks.

“Personnel hiked in and initiated a ground fire attack in coordination with water drops from Air 1,” Fire Capt. Scot Seguirant said in a press release. “The Honolulu Police Department assisted with stopping beach goers from entering the burn area while they hiked to the beach from the lighthouse parking lot.”

El Nino Impacts Likely Through Winter, Into Spring - Higher Potential for Large Wildfires in Hawaii

“A Hawaii County firefighter monitors a brush fire.” (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

“A Hawaii County firefighter monitors a brush fire.” (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

El Nino means a higher potential for large fires throughout much of Hawaii. Be prepared by going through the Ready Set Go! Action Guide and WildfireLOOKOUT! materials — there are many ways to get involved and Take Action.

From the Source:

El Nino has more than one impact on water. It doesn’t just heat it up, it changes how much falls from the sky and when.

Matthew Foster, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said NWS has forecast a 90 percent chance of El Nino in the winter and a 60 percent chance it persists into the spring.

According to North Ops Predictive Services, rainfall totals are projected below normal levels from December through the spring months assuming an El Nino takes hold and hangs around.

Because of this, and despite rainfall through last summer and fall that left green grass crop in several areas across the state, large fire potential is expected to increase to above normal levels from January to March.

“December was still neutral conditions,” Foster said, “(But) it would be expected drier than normal over the next few months.”

New Year’s Eve and Day were jointly characterized by three separate blazes in West Hawaii alone, two in the area of Waikoloa Village and one above Hawaiian Homes in Kawaihae.

Wai Watchers: The Vital Role of Volunteers in Watershed Health

"Dedicated Makai Watch Volunteer James Heacock (clipboard) has been doing surveys for 10 years. Here, he surveys the coast with fisherman Kawika Auld." Photo courtesy of Christine Shepard

"Dedicated Makai Watch Volunteer James Heacock (clipboard) has been doing surveys for 10 years. Here, he surveys the coast with fisherman Kawika Auld." Photo courtesy of Christine Shepard

What does it take to protect an entire watershed? Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. Great feature in Ke Ola Magazine highlighting South Kohala Coastal Partnership efforts - we are proud to be a part of such a solid partnership!

From the Source:

The South Kohala Coastal Partnership is composed of over 70 participants including 30 state and local experts such as biologists, kūpuna, cultural practitioners, teachers, fishermen, coastal business owners, land managers, resort representatives, and more. Together they tackle everything from land-based sources of pollution, to unsustainable fishing practices, to invasive species. Community participation has provided essential people-power for data collection and projects supporting this work.

The reefs located at the bottom of Kohala Mountain reflect what happens at higher elevations. Over the centuries, events such as the historic harvest of sandalwood, the introduction of species like goats, overgrazing by cattle, fires, and floods have converted much of the once-forested mountain into grassland and denuded landscapes. Without roots, ferns, and mosses to catch and hold the heavy rains, acres of bare soil wash downstream. This erosion buries corals in sediment and reduces the reef’s once-rich diversity of fish and invertebrates. Did you know that each grain of sediment can be re-suspended 10,000 times by waves, blocking light and re-smothering coral over and over? Agencies like The Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization and The Kohala Center are working in partnership with landowners and ranchers to reduce this impact up-slope.


Registration Open for Hawaii Wildfire Summit

2018_3_16_Hawaii Wildfire Summit_Schedule_at_a_glance_FINAL copy_Page_1.jpg

Mahalo to Big Island Now and West Hawaii Today for publishing information on our upcoming Hawaii Wildfire Summit.

From the Source:

Since wildfires are such a wide-spanning issue that affect communities, lands, and waters, the solutions require everyone playing a proactive role. The Hawai‘i Wildfire Summit is a unique opportunity to learn, share, and collaborate with others who deal with wildfire in their work and communities across Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

This year’s theme is “Collaborating Across Hawaii and the Pacific for Summit to Sea Wildfire Protection.”

Presentations and workshops that one would otherwise have to attend on the mainland U.S. will also be a highlight of the event, offering a local option to connect to national-level programs, research and trainings.

HWMO Highlight on the Conversation

Credit: National Park Service

Credit: National Park Service

Thank you to The Conversation on HPR for highlighting the wildfire issue and having HWMO's Elizabeth Pickett as a guest on the show! Peak wildfire season is not over (and in Hawaii, fire season is all year long) so stay vigilant, have a plan, and evacuate early.

From the Source:

"Hawaii has its own problem with wildfires, and each summer seems to bring a rash of fires that are mostly caused by people – some accidental, many of them deliberate. The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization compiles the available data about each year’s wildfires."

Firefighter Chili Cook-Off Spices Things Up in Waimea

PTA Fire Chief Eric Moller serves their recipe to Connie Bender at the Chili Cook-Off for Wildfire Prevention Saturday at the Parker Ranch Red Barn. (Laura Ruminski-West Hawaii Today)

PTA Fire Chief Eric Moller serves their recipe to Connie Bender at the Chili Cook-Off for Wildfire Prevention Saturday at the Parker Ranch Red Barn. (Laura Ruminski-West Hawaii Today)

We are ecstatic to see that the Firefighter Chili Cook-Off made the front page of the West Hawaii Today on Monday, August 28! Thank you to everyone who made the cook-off such a wonderful event and successful fundraiser. You can also read more by checking out our blog post.

From the Source:

"The sold out fundraiser for the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO) was attended by over 200 guests who sampled and voted for their favorite chili recipe.

HWMO’s mission is dedicated to proactive and collaborative wildfire related education, outreach and technical assistance, project implementation and research.

Money raised will go to the nonprofit organization’s operating costs, according to Pablo Beimler, Community Outreach Coordinator.

Beimler said 25,000 flyers recently went out to students across the state as part of their school outreach, and coloring books are on their way."

The Conversation - HWMO Interview June 2, 2017

Credit: National Park Service

Credit: National Park Service

Check out HWMO's Executive Director, Elizabeth Pickett, on The Conversation on HPR! We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to share about wildfire readiness for 10 minutes on the air.

From the Source:

"With the hot dry summer months ahead, the fire threat, the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization is reminding the state that wildfires are nearly always started by people, regardless of intent."

Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness in Kona Kicks Off Wildfire Season

Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness. Credit: Hawaii DLNR

Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness. Credit: Hawaii DLNR

We are excited to say that not only was HWMO's Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness a success on May 6, but it also received statewide media attention. One of the highlights of the event was the official launch of Wildfire Lookout!, a multi-partner coordinated statewide wildfire prevention and preparedness campaign. Mahalo to KHON2, KITV, and Big Island Video News for coverage of the event, and a very special mahalo to Department of Land and Natural Resources for documenting the day's proceedings and sharing with the media.

From the Sources:

"'In the end, all of us are impacted by wildfire. It’s just that some of those impacts are more invisible than others, so people aren’t quite as aware,' Elizabeth Pickett, executive director of the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, said.

Pickett says over 25-percent of the state has been invaded by non-native, fire-prone grasses and shrubs.

That percentage grows as fires consume native forests which are then taken over by those invasive species." - KHON2

"The importance of land and homeowners to be fire ready is the theme of National Community Wildfire Preparedness Day events and activities across the country today. At the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area on Hawai‘i Island’s west side, Elizabeth Pickett watched as several non-profit organizations set up booths and exhibits for the first-ever Beach Party for Wildfire Awareness. Pickett is the executive director of the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), which with DLNR, and two dozen other State and federal government organizations and various non-profits are supporting the second year of a public and media awareness campaign: Wildfire LOOKOUT!

Pickett explained to people who dropped by the HWMO booth, that just because they may never have personally experienced a wildfire close to their home or property, that doesn’t mean they weren’t impacted. She explained, “Especially in our island environment the negative impacts of a wildfire in a specific location usually has detrimental impacts many miles away that can persist for years and even decades. You often hear people refer to 'mauka to makai,' and that effect pertains to wildfire. Once land is stripped of trees and vegetation it becomes much more prone to erosion and the introduction of invasive species and soot and sediment can wash from mountain forests to the sea where it can choke out life in coral reefs.'

Big Island State Representative Cindy Evans emphasized the need for everyone in Hawai‘i to become aware of these impacts and to do their part to prevent wildland fires. She’s seen first- hand the devastation and destruction, these often fast moving fires cause. Evans said, 'Even the loss of one home is one too many when you consider that with a little awareness, people truly can prevent wildland fires.'" - Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (picked up by Big Island Video News)

Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization Supports Formation of Firewise Communities in Hawaii

"According to the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, about 0.5% of Hawaii’s total land area burns annually, as much or more than the proportion of land are burned in any other US state. In Hawaii, 98% of wildfires are human caused."

We are extremely grateful to be a part of the Firewise Communities program and were highlighted for our efforts in January's National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Fire Break newsletter!

From the Source:

"Wildfire in Hawaii, like anywhere else, threatens the safety of firefighters, residents andhomes. It also causes damage to the air quality, which impacts human health, and contributes to soil erosion problems that can cause damage to sensitive coral reefs. One of the partners in Hawaii working to help lessen the loss due to wildfire in Hawaii is the Hawaiian Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO). They are a small nonprofit organization that has been working together with fire departments, the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, communities and others to help develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) and Firewise Communities. The HWMO was officially founded in 2000 by a group of South Kohala/North Kona regional experts who wanted to create a non-profit organization to serve as an arm for the fire suppression and land management agencies to conduct prevention, pre-suppression, and post-fire work. They became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2002. Since then, they have grown to not only address wildfire issues for all of Hawaii Island, but also the entire state and some of the Western Pacific (namely Yap, Palau, Guam).

According to Pablo Beimler, Coordinator with HWMO, "'Although we have a small staff, HWMO is continually able to accomplish a number of projects due to its extensive partnerships. We can't say it enough: by staying in communication with our partners on each project, and expanding partnerships where needed, they are able to ensure our projects stay grounded and effective.'"

"Pablo described other wildfire preparedness projects in which HWMO is involved. "We have a Firewise demonstration garden in Waikoloa Village, where we have a number of native, drought-tolerant plants growing strategically around a demo home to give community members an example of good defensible space practices. Our team has held a number of community events at the garden and have had a youth environmental empowerment group called the Malama Kai Ocean Warriors help be the ‘stewards’ of the garden. In terms of other youth outreach, we also go to numerous schools and youth programs to teach students about wildfire prevention and preparedness, including Firewise and Ready, Set, Go! principles. We also hold community wildfire preparedness workshops for various organizations/groups or for the general public where we give people a run-down on Firewise and Ready, Set, Go!."  

Lower Sea Temperatures Could Bring Positive Conditions for Stressed Coral

Credit: West Hawaii Today

Good news in the short-term with coral recovery after a stressful El Nino summer for our precious coastal resources. However, in the long run, our coral reefs face a number of challenges, one of those being post-fire runoff from wildfires. We are expected for a very dry winter, which could mean an uptick in wildfires. An increase in wildfires could mean more trouble for our reefs once the exposed soil is potentially washed out to sea by rainfall.

From the Source:

"'Many of the bleached corals in Kaneohe Bay are now showing signs of recovery — that is, their color is returning to normal darker brown rather than very pale brown or white that was the state of play in the middle of the bleaching event in September,' Gates said. 'The immediate threat to corals associated with higher than normal sea water temperatures has receded. The longer term impact of the bleaching event remain to be seen, sometimes bleached corals recover but they fail to reproduce the following year. This is not good.'"

"On land, El Nino is expected to dry out the Big Island and even cause drought, especially in leeward areas where the winter tends to be the dry season anyway. Fire personnel also expect the dry weather ahead to raise fire danger because of a massive fuel load created when vegetation flourished during heavy rainfall this summer."

Dealing with Wildfires in North Hawaii

HWMO, along with its fire agency partners, are highlighted in this week's edition of North Hawaii News! Get the inside scoop on what it took to fight the challenging Kawaihae Fire last month from those who were on the front lines. You'll also find some of the work HWMO is doing to keep wildfire occurrences and destructive effects to a minimum. 

Aftermath of Kawaihae fire that burned from makai to mauka. (Pablo Beimler/HWMO)

From the Source:

"With fewer per capita emergency resources than higher populated areas like Honolulu, HFD has to make strategic use of available resources to cover large geographic areas on challenging terrain. Communication, coordination among units, planning, training, equipment and following well-established priorites are crucial, according to Captain Sommers."

"Pablo Beimler, education and outreach coordinator for Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO), has created a compelling video vividly depicting the Kawaihae wildfire’s cumulative damage to coastal areas. It can be viewed at

With this month’s fire coming close to the ocean, HWMO’s Executive Director Elizabeth Pickett says, “'Most residents do not readily connect wildfire to coastal impacts because there is frequently a lag time and often geographic distance between fires and storm events.'"

HWMO VIDEO: Kawaihae Fire and Flood 2015 - Mauka to Makai Impacts

Post-fire debris smothers coastline near Mauumae Beach.

Starting on August 8th, Kawaihae experienced a brushfire that threatened local communities, businesses, and cultural sites. Over a week later, the impacts of the wildfire have reached another precious resource: our coastline. 

We just produced a short video demonstrating the mauka-to-makai effects of wildfire with recent footage and photographs documenting the post-fire floods that have and are continuing to have negative impacts on our nearshore resources including coral reefs.

At the end of the video is an important message about how you can join us in taking action to prevent troubling events like these.

Enjoy and make sure to spread this video and the messages in it to everyone you know!

The recent Kawaihae Fire burned over 4,500 acres of wildland in the Northwest region of Hawaii Island. The wildfire directly impacted local communities, businesses, and cultural sites. One week later, the wildfire impacted coastal resources through unprecedented levels of post-fire flooding.

New Community Partnership on Hawaii Island Aims to Improve Water Quality

"Rocky coastline on Hawaii Island." Credit - UH Manoa

"Rocky coastline on Hawaii Island." Credit - UH Manoa

We are excited to be a partner of UH Sea Grant and South Kohala Coastal Partnership for this incredible project. Post-fire erosion has always been a major concern for HWMO, so we linked up with Sierra Tobiason and the rest of the partnership for this forward-thinking project to provide any help we could, including funding support for fuels reduction (which has taken place at a couple of sites within the last month.) 

From the Source:

"The two-year Wai 2 Kai project will take place at five sites along the Waikoloa stream and within the Wai‘ula‘ula Watershed. At these sites volunteers will be recruited to install and maintain raingardens, participate in stream and beach clean-ups, remove invasive plant species, and help the project reach its goal of planting 20,000 native plants."

These native plant restoration and Wai 2 Kai volunteer activities were designed to not only restore and improve water quality, but to encourage long-lasting stewardship and understanding of the importance of healthy watersheds.

Said Tobiason, 'The organizations, agencies and community groups of the South Kohala Coastal Partnership have been instrumental in helping to develop collaborative stewardship opportunities to improve the water quality from wai to kai -- the stream to the ocean. It is very exciting to have so much community involvement and partnership support in this project as we work together to improve water quality and reduce impacts to coral reef ecosystems.'"

Hot Under the Collar Over Wildfires

"Wildfires like this one are increasing across the island and are extremely detrimental in a variety of ways." Credit - Chief Eric Moller, USAG-P, FES and HWMO

"Wildfires like this one are increasing across the island and are extremely detrimental in a variety of ways." Credit - Chief Eric Moller, USAG-P, FES and HWMO

Highlight of Ilene Grossman (Planning Assistant) and HWMO's efforts to protect Kauai resident and native resources from wildfire!

From the Source:

"'I want to do my part in protecting the Hawaiian Islands’ natural and cultural resources,' says Grossman. 'Wildfires have a devastating impact on our islands in general, and I want to offer my time to help our communities with this growing issue.'

As long as residents do their part by being proactive and informed, the number of fires can decrease. Regular maintenance of yards and landscaping, for example, is one way to help mitigate fires. It’s important for the community to work together to make this happen, including government entities, as wildfires are both dangerous and expensive.

'When fires burn native forest, what comes back are non-native, invasive grasses and other species that are more fire prone, creating a vicious cycle of fire,' explains Grossman.

Additionally, after a fire, soil drifts into the waterways, smothers reefs and impacts water quality. Air quality is yet another concern that especially impacts fire-fighters. Moreover, the cost to taxpayers to put out each fire and rebuild afterward is another negative effect.

Devastating Wildfires Pose Growing Threat to Hawaii's Lush Forest and Water Resources

Excellent, well-rounded article about the mauka to makai connectivity in regards to wildfires. Our wildfire issues are making national headlines!

From the Source:

"In addition to chipping away at the last of Hawaii's native forests, wildfires also threaten the state's limited freshwater resources. According to Elizabeth Pickett of the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, fires can make the soil hydrophobic, meaning less water infiltrates the soil and contributes to the state's precious groundwater resources.

Wildfires are also destructive to the state's treasured coral reefs.

The most recent National Climate Assessment reports that Hawaii's coral reefs are already struggling to survive due to bleaching events and ocean acidification."


Sign-up for a free-trial of ClimateWire to read the full article (it's worth it!):

"A forest fire creeps down to the sea from the West Maui Mountains. Photo courtesy of Peter Liu."

"A forest fire creeps down to the sea from the West Maui Mountains.
Photo courtesy of Peter Liu."

Firefighters Battling Brush Fire Near Mililani Mauka (VIDEO)

Wildfires, unlike on the mainland where there are fire-adapted ecosystems, can be detrimental to our native ecosystems in Hawaii. The current Mililani Mauka fire is a reminder of just how destructive wildfires can be here. Keep an eye out for the after effects of the fire. After a solid rainfall event, check out the neighboring shoreline to see if there is residue smothering the reefs as a result of the wildfire.

"[The] native forest cover protects Hawaii's watersheds and allows rainfall to slowly recharge the aquifer. When native forests burns in a wildland fire, the soil erodes into streams and out onto reefs, causing damage far beyond the burn site. Recovering native vegetation is hindered by invasive plant species which quickly recolonize the site and often are both more prone to burning and better adapted to survive fire, resulting in a destructive cycle of wildland fires."

From the Source: 

"Fire responders from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildfire, and Honolulu Fire Department are continuing to fight the wildland fire located in the Kipapa drainage above Mililani Mauka, including parts of the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge.

Approximately 350 acres of mostly intact native forest has burned as of 12 p.m. Thursday.  Six DLNR firefighters and eight HFD personnel are trying to contain the fire using aerial drops of water by helicopter.

Due to the lack of road access and steep terrain, responders are relying on costly air support to contain the fire. Four contracted helicopters and HFD's Air One helicopter are currently battling the flames. No structures are currently threatened...

The 4,775 acre refuge is managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and protects habitat for several native bird species such as the 'elepaio, threatened and endangered plants, and endangered tree snails. The area burning is a mixed 'ohia koa forest with other native species present such as 'uluhe fern, loulu, iliahi (sandalwood), and halapepe."

Above: Credit - KITV4 News

Above: Credit - KITV4 News

Hapuna Gets Beach Clean Up Station

Our young, enthusiastic Waikoloa Garden care-takers and fire experts from Ocean Warriors (Malama Kai Foundation) help install Beach Clean Up Stations at Hapuna Beach State Park. Mahalo for your hard work!

From the Source:

"The wooden boxes contain heavy foil coffee bags, typically tossed by coffee shops but repurposed as garbage bags for beach users to pick up and fill with refuse. Pictures, drawn by area students, decorate the outside. Each station costs about $300 to make and install, Iglehart said.Maintaining the boxes, particularly replenishing the stock of coffee bags, is a task that will fall to volunteers. Several groups of volunteers have already stepped up, Iglehart said, including the Malama Kai Foundation’s Ocean Warriors project, which designed and built the boxes, collected the coffee bags, designed and printed informational signs and created the artwork to decorate the boxes. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel has been saving coffee bags for about a year to donate to the project, Iglehart said.

Several other community groups and some high school students in South Kohala have expressed interest in helping restock the boxes, she added.

'It has been such a fun and rewarding opportunity for the Ocean Warriors students to be involved in a project that highlights their involvement in marine protection and their artwork, and also provides important information to members of their own community about how most marine debris begins as beach litter — something we can do our part to help,' Malama Kai Foundation’s Elizabeth Pickett said in an email."

Above: "Kahu L. Kalani Souza does some mele (music) while conducting the blessing ceremony for the pilot Hawaiian Islands Beach Clean Up Stations at Hapuna Beach State Park Friday afternoon." Credit - West Hawaii Today

Above: "Kahu L. Kalani Souza does some mele (music) while conducting the blessing ceremony for the pilot Hawaiian Islands Beach Clean Up Stations at Hapuna Beach State Park Friday afternoon." Credit - West Hawaii Today