Aloha Group at Waihe’e Refuge

Written By Dani

Aloha everyone!

This week we transitioned from Camp Olowalu to Waihe’e Refuge for some conservation work. We got all set up with the help of Kia’i our guide and facilitator for our time here. His name also happens to mean “guardian” which is very fitting, considering he lives on this land and takes care of it.

We started on our first project which was installing rolls of coconut husks into the river and staking them down with wooden stakes. We are doing this because the river leads directly into the ocean and there is a lot of sediment that runs off down the river and into the ocean. The sediment is extremely harmful to the reefs, so the husk rolls are meant to prevent sediment from washing down. We also cleared invasive plants and grasses and instead planted native plants to help with erosion. In our first week here we put in at least 20 husk rolls! Woot woot!!

On Thursday we met with Ian, a local, who shared with us the darker history of Hawai’i through story telling, songs and games! We were able to play a few games like bowling and spear throwing. The bowling went well, but the spear throwing…we’ve got a lot to work on.

This weekend our captains planned for us to go whale watching which was absolutely amazing! We were able to see a group of male whales competing for the attention of one female.

We can’t wait to keep working at our conservation site and learn more about Hawaiian history this coming week!

A few pictures from staking in the husk rolls, planting
and planting native trees in the areas we cleared of invasive grasses.

The group got to go whale-watching on a sunny day, and
saw a few males competing for the attention of a nearby female.