On-going opportunities to get involved in management in the greater Kohala area
Prepared by Megan Lamson, updated by Julia Rose
Coral Reef Alliance: CORAL is an international non-profit organization whose goal is to "lead holistic conservation programs that improve coral reef health and resilience and are replicated across the globe." They work with the Puako community in South Kohala to address water quality issues at the shoreline. CORAL is launching a citizen science water quality program and looking for volunteers! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Kohala Watershed Partnership: A group that is committed to “Working together to protect and sustain the forest, the water, and the people of Kohala Mountain.” They work on a variety of restoration projects in Kohala including one at Pelekane Bay, South Kohala. For more info about this or other fieldwork or volunteer opportunities, please contact them at email@example.com or visit their website at www.kohalawatershed.org
Hawai'i Wildfire Management Organization: HWMO is a non-profit organization that works statewide but was originated in Waimea on Hawai'i Island. Their mission is "To serve as a hub of wildfire prevention, mitigation, and planning activities in the Hawaii-Pacific region through proactive, collaborative, and forward-thinking projects" HWMO supports community initiatives to reduce wildfire risk around the state. To get involved or learn how you can reduce your risk of fire, visit their website at www.hawaiiwildfire.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Waikoloa Dryland Forest Initiative: “Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed in 2011 to manage and preserve the remnant lowland wiliwili forest that persists just outside of Waikoloa Village. Our mission is to preserve the existing resources within the area, promote the natural regeneration of common and rare native plants, and restore the native dry forest community. We also hope to preserve, promote and restore understanding and stewardship of the forest within our communities through outreach and education and by providing opportunities to experience these special places.” They routinely seek volunteer help with native outplanting workdays on Saturdays. For more info contact Jen Lawson at email@example.com or check out their website at www.waikoloadryforest.org
Keep Puakō Beautiful: This volunteer group that based out of Puakō is a branch of Keep Hawaiʻi Beautiful. They coordinate regular beach cleanup efforts in the region. For more info about this event and more, please contact Cynthia Ho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Makai Watch Puakō: Recently, the Puakō community has begun a Makai Watch program through the Puakō Community Association and with some planning support from The Nature Conservancy. Makai Watch is a community-based monitoring program in Hawaiʻi that is a partnership between the Dept of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and various community, non-profit, and gov’t agencies. Makai Watch groups seek to protect the coastal resources of their local community via fish/habitat monitoring, human-use monitoring, outreach/education booths and events, as well as resource violation reporting. For more info about volunteering in Puakō, please contact the coordinator, Randy Clarke at email@example.com.
Mālama Kai Foundation: “The Mālama Kai Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to ocean stewardship for current and future generations through community service and public education. Founded in January 1991, they raise and implement projects that help conserve Hawaiʻi’s coastal and marine resources, and educate people about these resources.” Their projects include installation of day-use moorings, and a K-12 outreach and education program in North Kohala called “Ocean Warriors”. For more info, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website at www.malama-kai.org.
Pua Ka ‘Ilima ‘O Kawaihae Cultural Surf Park: “The non-profit corporation known as Pua Ka‘ilima Cultural Surf Park Inc. was dedicated to develop and protect this area on 1.4 acres of coastline at the Kawaihae Breakwater. Funded not by taxpayers’ money but rather with community and foundation support, the park will be developed to afford unrestricted ocean access, for local people and visitors in phases over the next several years. For more info on the surf park, or to make a tax-deductible contribution towards its development, visit their website at http://www.surfpark.org/ about.html.
The Kohala Center: “The Kohala Center is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. The Kohala Center was established in direct response to the request of island residents and island leaders to create greater educational and employment opportunities by caring for—and celebrating—Hawai‘i Island’s natural and cultural landscape.” For more info on how to get involved as a Reef Teach volunteer, visit their website at www.kohalacenter.org.
The Nature Conservancy: Together with their partners, “The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has protected almost 200,000 acres of natural lands in Hawai'i. These acres include 10 Conservancy preserves that provide vital habitat for threatened native species. We also collaborate with others to protect the larger natural systems of which our preserves are a part.” A leading non-profit in the Kohala region, TNC has recently invested a lot of time and energy into hosting the South Kohala Conservation Action Plan (CAP) with input from dozens of knowledgeable community members, resource users, scientists and managers alike.
TNC has also been involved in helping various community groups with their own coastal management projects, including: the Puakō Makai Watch program, the Kaʻūpulehu Marine Life Advisory Committee and is now beginning their restoration efforts of some fishponds and anchialine pools at Kīholo. For more info on how to get involved contact Rebecca Most at email@example.com or check out their website at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/hawaii/index.htm.
Hui Aloha Kīholo: According to their website this, “Hui [includes] all those who are linked to Kīholo for cultural, community, ecological, sustenance, and spiritual reasons in an effort to steward Kīholo in perpetuity.” They are actively recruiting volunteers for various projects along this beautiful coastline including anchialine pool restoration and ‘auwai repairs as necessary. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website at www.huialohakiholo.org