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HWF in the News

> April 24, 2015 - Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
> Mar 22, 2015 - US agency: Keep threatened status for turtles
> Jan 26, 2015 - Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
> Jan 26, 2015 - HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee
> Nov 24, 2014 - Vessel lost in tsunami returned to Japan
> Sept-Oct 2014 - Turtle Tracks
> July 29, 2014 - HWF begins keiki marine debris program
> July 17, 2014 - Fencing meant to protect dunes and turtles
> June 4, 2014 - Federal Court rules against Maui County
> May 30, 2014 - Dawn Patrol: Sea Turtle Nesting Season
> Jan 17, 2014 - Hawaii Wildlife Fund partners with Bluecology


Japan Tsunami Debris Travels to Hawaii
(Big Island Now) HAWAII - April 24, 2015 - More suspected Japan tsunami marine debris has washed onto and near Hawai'i shores.
   According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, two large plastic bins were reported this week. Overturned skiff reported Feb. 22 at a beach near Kahuku Golf Course. Photo courtesy Lance Redding.One of the bins was located at Kamilo Beach in Ka'u. Volunteers with Hawaii Wildlife Fund removed the bin. Another bin was found on Larsen’s Beach on Kauai.
   On Thursday, DLNR crews retrieved a 20-foot skiff in the Sandy Beach area of Oahu. The boat had Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers. This was the seventh boat since February to approach Hawaii that is suspected to be from Japan.
> Read entire article at BigIslandNow.com

Good news for green sea turtles
U.S. agency: Keep threatened status for turtles
MAUI, HAWAII - March 22, 2015 - Federal wildlife officials propose keeping Hawaii's green sea turtles' threatened status under the Endangered Species Act, meaning it would continue to be illegal to kill or hunt them.
   Hawaii has a population of fewer than 4,000 nesting sea turtles, nearly all of which nest on a low-lying island in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, officials said.
   A green sea turtle is shown on Eastern Island in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. AP file photoFriday's announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes approximately three years after the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs petitioned the government to study whether Hawaii's green sea turtles might have recovered to the point where they no longer need federal protection.
   But Hawaii's turtles are vulnerable to disease, rising sea levels and other threats, said Patrick Opay, the endangered species branch chief of NOAA's Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office.
   [Part of article removed here for brevity]
   Hannah Bernard, president and co-founder of Hawaii Wildlife Fund, said federal officials propose reclassifying sea turtles into 11 distinct population segments, since turtles in the same patch of ocean - the Hawaiian archipelago, for instance, share a genetic heritage and are isolated from other groups by vast expanses of ocean.
   In Hawaii, sea turtles forage among the main islands, but nest in the northwestern islands, she said.
   "They're true kamaaina. They're keiki o ka aina," Bernard said. The turtles remain in their region and don't migrate long distances, she said.
   The turtles' designation as a distinct population, with the help of DNA testing, allows for special wildlife management, she said. For example, knowing the particulars about a specific population area helps wildlife officials better manage and protect the species. "We're more focused on our specific populations," she said.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com

Coalition gains ruling in injection wells lawsuit
New ruling opens Maui County up to civil penalties
MAUI, HAWAII - Jan 26, 2015 - A federal judge effectively ruled Friday that all four injection wells at the Lahaina wastewater facility are "illegal" and in violation of the Clean Water Act, leaving the county open to tens of thousands of dollars a day in civil Maui Countypenalties, a lawyer for a group suing the county over the wells said.
   "Any use of the Lahaina facility is illegal" until the county obtains a Clean Water Act permit, said David Henkin of Earthjustice, who represents a coalition of groups in court, on Monday.
   The lawsuit, filed in April 2012, contends that wastewater from the injection wells is making its way to the ocean, endangering the public, contributing to algal growth and harming coral reefs.
   Four Maui community groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association and Sierra Club Maui Group - filed the lawsuit to force the county to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, part of the Clean Water Act, which would set limits on the pollutants that can be discharged from the wells.
> Read entire article at MauiNews.com
> Video: Hannah Bernard speaks out on court case

HWF joins opposition to governor's nominee
Jan 26, 2015 - When Governor David Ige nominated real estate developer Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources on January 23, Hawaii Wildlife Fund joined a broad coalition of groups that opposed the nomination. An anti-Ching online petition has garneredCarleton Ching more than 5,000 signatures.
> Sign the petition
   Gov. Ige justified his selection of Ching, saying, "Stewardship of Hawaii's unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of State government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources."
   However, Ching's account on LinkedIn lists his development skills as "Marketing, real estate, first time home buyers, investment properties, residential homes, public relations and budgets." It makes no mention of any skills related to public service, land management or conservation practices — an omission that more than 18 organizations latched onto in the joint statement they released this week, blasting the nomination stating that Ching "has no demonstrated expertise in managing the cultural and natural resources that fall under the department's purview."
   The statement was endorsed by Sierra Club, The Outdoor Circle, Conservation Council for Hawaii, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Friends of Lana'i, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Earthjustice, Defend O'ahu Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hui Ho'omalu I Ka 'Aina, Kupa'a No Lani, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka 'Aina), Maui Tomorrow, Puna Pono Alliance, Wailua-Kapa'a Neighborhood Association, West Maui Preservation Association, and 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition.
> Big Island Chronicle: KaChing!
> The Garden Island: Kauai groups oppose DLNR nominee
> West Hawaii Today: Groups oppose Ige’s nominee

HWF ends its 2014 marine debris season
Dec7, 2014 - HAWAII ISLAND - On Friday, Hawaii Wildlife Fund ended its 2014 marine debris season loading net and line into a HWF ends its 2014 marine debris seasoncontainer for shipment to Honolulu. The HWF team loaded about 4.5 tons of net into a 40' trailer provided by Matson Navigation's Ka Ipu 'Aina program.

Megan Lamson, Marine Debris Project Coordinator for HWF, said "Most of the net and line was recovered from the southeast Ka'u coast." The container will be shipped to O'ahu, where Schnitzer Steel will chop it into pieces and then it will be burned at the Covanta H-Power plant.

This Nets-to-Energy partnership was arranged by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program to keep the material out of the landfill and create electricity with it.

Since 2005, HWF's tally for these net and line shipments is about 75 tons. > Read article online at Damon Tucker

Vessel lost in tsunami returned to Japan
Nov 24, 2014 - JOHNSON ATOLL, HI - This article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser tells Click to read Honolulu Star-Advertiser storyhow a Japanese man was reunited with his personal watercraft that he lost in the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

Three years later, a volunteer found it washed up on Johnston Atoll, a tiny island some 800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Megan Lamson, HWF's Hawaii Island Marine Debris Removal Project Coordinator who met the owner of the vessel at a tsunami marine debris symposium in Japan, was interviewed for the story. > Read article (PDF)

Turtle Tracks
Sept-Oct 2014 - MAUI, HI - Beneath the starlight, the sand begins to boil with life. A tiny head emerges, followed by a flipper. Soon turtle hatchlings - each no bigger than a toddler’s hand - swarm the beach, heroically crawling toward the sea.

Since 1996, Hawaii Wildlife Fund volunteers have spent sleepless nights patrolling Maui beaches, PHOTO: Cheryl Kinganticipating this magical moment. Two sea-turtle species nest here: honu, the green turtle snorkelers often see, and honu'ea, the endangered Hawaiian hawksbill. While most honu nest in the remote reaches of the archipelago, honu'ea nest exclusively in the main Hawaiian Islands, primarily on the Big Island. With fewer than 100 nesting hawksbills statewide, the success of each nest is crucial for the survival of the species.

Cheryl King, HWF's vice president and research director, is Maui's sea turtle expert --and midwife of sorts. She has closely monitored honu'ea and honu since 2000. Finding these elusive reptiles is no easy feat, she says. "We've identified eight nesting females on Maui, which is as much of an accomplishment as it is a reality check."
> Read article in Maui No Ka 'Oi magazine

HWF begins keiki marine debris program
July 29, 2014 - MAUI, HI - West Hawaii Today
Hawaii Wildlife Fund will begin its Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawaii Island this fall.

The program will bring two marine science mentors into 20 elementary schools to introduce topics such as ocean circulation, HWF begins keiki marine debris programmarine ecology and human impacts, including marine debris. Mentors will work with teachers to coordinate relevant student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and Common Core standards for the state Department of Education for each grade level. These in-class lectures will conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris in Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Basin.

The program will culminate with a family beach cleanup day at island marine debris hubs including Kamilo Point in Ka'u, Pololu in North Kohala, Kanekanaka Point in South Kohala, Cape Kumukahi in Puna, Kaipalaoa in Hilo and Ooma in Kona.The program began with financial support from a Hawaii Wildlife Fund T-shirt fundraiser and will now be sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.

For more information about this marine debris prevention program or to sign up a classroom, contact Catherine at spina.hwf@gmail.com; and for more information about volunteering for its next Ka‘u coastal cleanup event, contact Megan at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629. Find additional resources and details about HWF’s ongoing conservation projects online at wildhawaii.org.
> Read article in West Hawaii Today

Fencing meant to protect dunes and turtles
HWF's Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project protects turtles
July 17, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Maui News
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Area Park Ranger Courtney Brown (right) and Cheryl King, vice president and Maui research coordinator for Hawaii Wildlife Fund, bolt a section of fencing together along North Kihei Road on Tuesday morning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photoThe fence made from recycled plastic is designed to keep nesting sea turtles from cresting the dunes and stepping into traffic. In separate incidents in the 1990s, a pair of endangered hawksbill turtles were killed when struck by cars. It is estimated that there are fewer than 100 adult female hawksbills that nest in Hawaii. King said the fencing is also a way to protect the dunes, which see a lot of activity being so close to both the road and the beach. The project also involves removing the old wood and wire sand fencing that formerly protected the turtles and fragile dunes.
> Read article in the Maui News

Federal Court rules against Maui County
County subject to penalties for violation of Clean Water Act

June 2, 2014 - HONOLULU, HI
On Friday, May 30, the federal district court in Honolulu ruled that Maui County is violating the Clean Water Act by using injection wells to illegally discharge wastewater from a water treatment facility. The court concluded that most of the three to five million gallons of wastewater the Kahekili Beach on west Maui. Joe West - ShutterstockCounty’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility dumps into the wells each day flows through groundwater and emerges offshore of popular Kahekili Beach Park in West Maui, where the wastewater-laden groundwater "substantially affects the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the ocean water." The court will impose civil penalties for the County’s violations following a hearing set for March 17, 2015.

In 2012, four Hawaii community groups - Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association, and Sierra Club-Maui Group - filed suit under the federal Clean Water Act to stop Maui County from discharging wastewater into the ocean from its Lahaina treatment plant without a permit. Their lawsuit followed years of unsuccessful efforts to resolve the issue out of court.
> Read Press Release

Dawn Patrol: Sea Turtle Nesting Season
County subject to penalties for violation of Clean Water Act

May 30, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Wildlife officials are asking the public to be mindful of Hawksbill and green sea turtles as they begin their 2014 nesting season along Maui beaches next month.

As sea turtles emerge onto beaches to lay their eggs, they leave distinctive 3 ft. wide tracks behind in the sand. Photo credit: Cheryl King.The public is advised to stay at least 30 feet away from nesting turtles and watch quietly, as they are easily disturbed.

Officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service say the success of their nests is crucial for the survival of these threatened and endangered species.

In addition to keeping a safe distance, wildlife officials ask the public to immediately report sightings of nesting activity, fresh turtle tracks, nest hatchlings, or turtles in trouble by contacting one of the following individuals:

  • Skippy Hau, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources: (808) 243-5294
  • Courtney Brown, US Fish and Wildlife Service: (808) 268-6316, courtney_brown@fws.gov
  • Cheryl King, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund: (808) 385-5464, mauihawksbills@gmail.com
> Read Entire Article online at MauiNow.com

Hawaii Wildlife Fund partners with Bluecology
New partnership expands HWF's volunteer, outreach opportunities

January 17, 2014 - MAUI, HI - Hawaii Wildlife Fund has formed a new partnership with a California-based marine nonprofit organization called Bluecology, which specializes in eco-travel and volunteer efforts. Working with Bluecology, HWF will offer new student field programs and volunteer vacations for adults on Maui. Through education, community service and outreach, the organizations will work together to further the cause of protection of Hawaii's threatened species and habitats.

"Hawaii Wildlife Fund depends on volunteers to help its core team conduct our native wildlife monitoring and habitat restoration projects," said Hawaii Wildlife Fund president Hannah Bernard, adding "Partnering with Bluecology will allow Hawaii Wildlife Fund to tap into a larger pool of volunteers and thus expand the research we are doing. This is a great opportunity for people who want to give back while having fun on vacation."

HWF has conducted conservation programs and projects on Maui and the island of Hawaii since 1996. Actively engaging local communities, HWF works to protect Hawaii's fragile marine ecosystem and wildlife through research, education and advocacy.

Based in California, Bluecology's senior staff has a combined 50 years of experience establishing community-based conservation and marine protected areas. They assist communities in Micronesia, Central and South America by providing experts and trained volunteers to help develop and implement a variety of conservation programs. The new partnership with HWF will expand Bluecology's reach to Hawaii.

Volunteerism is core to both organizations. The partnership expands the ways that individuals can become hands-on active participants in marine conservation. For those who do not wish to or are unable to take an active role in conservation efforts, they can help spread the word through social media. Also support through donations is always welcome.
> Donate to HWF
> Volunteer with HWF
> Learn more about Bluecology


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