Hilo Bay Waterkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance. Under the direction of Board President, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement to protect water resources, currently uniting more than 350 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates in over 40 countries. Our collective mission is fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters. The organization is committed to finding solutions to reduce land-based pollutants and improve water quality.
In partnership with Hilo Bay Waterkeeper, Applied Life Sciences, LLC has conducted water quality monitoring activities in the ocean since early 2018, using several markers to detect wastewater. This research will continue in 2020, and results will be shared with the community.
Hilo Bay Waterkeeper is working in partnership with the Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center at UH Hilo on a native oyster restoration project to help improve water quality and clarity in Hilo Bay.
Hawai‘i’s rainforests have been heavily affected by Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD). ROD is a fungal disease that is decimating populations of ʻŌhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha). ʻŌhi‘a is the foundational tree of the Hawaiian forest. It is so well adapted for Hawai‘i’s volcanic landscape that it can pull moisture from the air and transfer that water to the ground below to recharge the aquifer. On Hawaiʻi Island, hundreds of thousands of ʻŌhiʻa trees have already died across thousands of acres.
The Hawai’i Department of Agriculture has imposed a quarantine that prohibits movement of all ‘ōhi’a plants or plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, logs, and soil between islands except by permit.
Please keep these guidelines in mind:
Avoid areas confirmed to have Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. Look for signage at trailheads. Always follow decontamination protocol: remove all soil from gear and shoes, then sanitize by spraying (saturate) using 70% rubbing alcohol. Follow this process before entering and after leaving any new area. Always clean hands and tools between taking plant material from different trees. Wash vehicles before and after traveling off road, especially tires and undercarriage. It is critical to remove all soil. When possible, substitute other flowers for lehua in lei making. If you continue to gather, please pick only the first four inches of ‘ōhi‘a stem tips (includes flowers and liko). ROD is expected to result in declines in aquifer recharge related to decreases in rainfall.
Copyright © 2019 Waiwai Ola Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands - All Rights Reserved.
Artwork by Solomon Enos.
Photo Credits: Waterkeeper Alliance photos: John Wathen; Oysters photos - Example of Black-lip Pearl Oysters Growing on Lines: Photo by Arthur Read, Smaller Native Hawaiian Oysters: Photo by Dr. Maria Haws.