Following the field trip of the CEESP SC to the three communities involved in the fishponds ecosystem, the CEESP Chair was struck by the overwhelming task the community group managing the wetlands restoration project faced.
With the support of the local community, Kako'o'Oiwi acquired a 38 year lease agreement with the State of Hawai'i Community Development Authority to implement a long range project to restore agricultural and ecological productivity to nearly 405 acres within the wetlands of He'eia. At present only four staff are employed to carry out this work - everything else is done through voluntary effort.
CEESP is now working with Kako'o'Oiwi and the Congress Secretariat to organise as part of the Congress Excursion options, a community volunteering day for Congress participants to volunteer their time to help clear invasive species and prepare garden beds for the planting of traditional food crops. This would be an ideal way to provide a direct benefit to the people, culture and environment of Hawai'i. We will keep you posted on how to sign-up to volunteer for the day. It will be hard work but no doubt rewarding.