Help For Our Feathered Friends

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the Nihoku predator-proof fence | Photo courtesy Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the Nihoku predator-proof fence | Photo courtesy Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

The plight of Hawaii’s rare, native birds breaks my heart. Their twills and tweets as they dash among the ohia trees in Kokee enchant me, and I find the hardships they face with continued habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native plant species discouraging. But what brings me a glimmer of hope are the many activities being conducted around the island by people passionate about preserving the existence of our fine, feathered friends. The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge will be constructing the island’s first predator-proof fence on Nihoku (Crater Hill) in an effort to protect native seabirds. Kumu hula Sabra Kauka recently led a ground-breaking ceremony for the project which includes fence that will deter cars, dogs, rats and mice from a 7-acre area of native plants and birds such as nene (Hawaiian goose) and moli (Laysan albatross). This also is projected to be the future site for a translocation project with the endangered ao (Newell’s shearwater) …

The National Tropical Botanical Garden is another entity doing right by the native flora and fauna. The nonprofit is featured in this week’s Newsmaker as it is currently presenting a oneof-a-kind art exhibit at its headquarters in Kalaheo. The public is invited to browse a collection of gorgeous paintings by Marian Berger, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Aug. 29 …

Branch Lotspeich (left) and John Gillen, members of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay. Coco Zickos photo

Branch Lotspeich (left) and John Gillen, members of the Rotary Club. Coco Zickos photo

If you’re interested in finding out how clean your tap water is, visit kauaiwater.org for the Department of Water‘s 2014 water quality reports. The report consists of a collection of data from 2013 that describes the quality of the island’s drinking water as well as where it comes from and the level of contaminants it contains …

As an Oahu native where gentler ocean waters prevail, I’ve always been leery of the tumultuous sea that stretches across the Garden Isle. But what brings me a bit more peace of mind are the bright, yellow rescue tubes scattered around the island. These life-saving floatation devices recently made big news in the July issue of The Rotarian magazine. A big congrats to Branch Lotspeich and John Gillen, members of Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay and founders of the Rescue Tube Foundation who were featured in the article along with Monty Downs of the Kauai Lifeguard Association. I’ve had the sincere pleasure of writing about these three gentlemen (“Stop the Drowning!” and “The Tube Dudes”) and I can say with certainty that their efforts have made a tremendous impact on the island …

The University of Hawaii predicts that our economy will continue to recover and expand through 2016. Byron Gangnes of the UH Economic Research Organization says that the visitor industry propelled this recovery since the recession of 2008-2009 and is now expected to expand to other industries. Visit kauai.gov/oed to read the full report.

cocomidweek@gmail.com

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