Erosion Control with Native Plants and Sediment Dams


Under the Ungulate and Erosion control grants from the Department of Aquatics and Hawaii Tourism Authority Natural Resources Program, Kailapa completed the ungulate-proof fence
(mahalo to Koko Lyman and Kaleo Bertelmann for clearing the fence line) and began the native plant propagation project. With the guidance and support of Jen Lawson from the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative and the Students of Cornell University, A’alii, Wiliwili, and pili grass seeds were collected, seeded, and transplanted. The seedlings are being cared for within our community to allow them to adapt to the area’s climate conditions. (Mahalo to Mel Kapule, Kaena Peterson, Kealaka’i Knoche, Donna Parker and Maha Kanealii.)

Other native seeds are continually being gathered to meet our goal of planting 2,500 native plants in the fenced-in future community center site. Kailapa will host a few more community workdays to include planting workshops, installing the irrigation lines, and out-planting over the next few months. The plants will not only hold the soil and decrease erosion from high winds and heavy rains, but will also serve as the landscaping for the community center and park.

On June 6, 2014, under the direction of Cody Dwight and his crew from the Kohala Watershed Partnership and volunteers, Kailapa built its first sediment dam. The goal is to trap sediment before it reaches the ocean. With the recent heavy rains, we have all seen the water change color from beautiful clear blue water to brown foamy water with floating debris. We recognize that this dam will have little impact on the large scale, but every bit of difference we can make is worth the effort. We are looking at installing more dams as we move forward with our erosion mitigation projects. We encourage everyone to participate to make that contribution for your community. Help us by planting and adopting that tree in your family’s name and join us as we continue to Malama ‘Aina.

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Kailapa Community Work Day: June 6 & 7, 2014

Workday Flyer

Bring a hat, sunscreen, shoes, gloves and
refillable water container.

Join us from 8:00am to 3:00pm on June 6 & 7 to help build a sediment dam and install irrigation lines and water diversion measures. Following work on June 7 we’ll have a potluck!

Contact Diane Kanealii (Project Manager) at (808)640-3195.

Click the flyer to view in full.

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Kailapa Community Volunteer Work Day: March 7, 2014

Fence Flyer Kailapa

Bring a hat, sunscreen, shoes, gloves and
refillable water container. Water and healthy
snacks will be provided.

Join us from 8:00am to 3:00pm on March 7 to help out with our ungulate control and sediment reduction project by assisting with fence installation and erosion monitoring.

Contact Diane Kanealii (Project Manager) at (808)640-3195.

Click the flyer to view in full.

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Ungulate control and sediment reduction project underway

Over the past 235 years of recorded history, Hawaii’s watersheds have been under significant threat from deforestation, ungulate introduction, changing climate conditions, human use, and other natural occurrences. The loss of forest, introduction of invasive species, the shift of land use, and an increase of external pressures have contributed to landscapes that are degraded and no longer able to support the natural and cultural integrity of our lands and oceans.

This project is a first step for the Kailapa Community Association (KCA) to address the natural and cultural needs of the ahupua’a of Kawaihae focusing on a small piece of land (14 acres) currently under the care of the community association. Focusing on watershed restoration, the Kailapa Community will address ungulate removal, reforestation, erosion prevention, and monitoring activities to train and provision the community for future, large-scale watershed restoration work extending up into the mauka lands within the
Kawaihae ahupua’a.

KCA will fence off approx. 12 acres currently licensed for 50 years to the community for a community resource center. The area will be used to trap and remove ungulates, mitigate erosion, establish a native dry-land seed bank, and train a future generation of local restoration professionals.

KCA will begin native plant propagation and out planting efforts with the support of partners and community members with experience in restoration work. KCA will focus on native dry forest plants that have the highest survival in neighboring watershed restoration area, Pelekane. These plants will include, but not be limited to, ‘A’ali’i, ‘Aweoweo, Ho’awa, ‘Iliahi, Koai’a, ‘Ilima, Koali ‘awa, Kulu’i, Lama, Mamane, Pili, Pohinahina, Pua Kala, and Wiliwili. Because the lower Kawaihae region is extremely dry, irrigation will be installed to ensure survival of the plants.

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The impact of feral goats explored in North Hawaii News

“The goats eat almost every kind of plant. Their impact on these sensitive dry habitats, especially during the ongoing drought, creates barren ground, which leads to erosion, and sedimentation of coral reefs.”  - Cody Dwight

Learn more about the past and present feral goat problem in North Hawaii at North Hawaii News Oct. 24, 2013 edition.

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