(BIVN) – The effort to remove marine debris and restore the coastal environment of Kaʻū was given a financial boost recently.
From a Hawaiian Electric news release:
The Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund recently received a $15,000 donation from Hawaiian Electric to support its Ka‘ū Coastal Restoration Program. The program focuses on coastal restoration efforts within and around the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve in Wai‘ōhinu plus environmental education efforts, anchialine pool and estuary restoration, and capacity-building across Hawai‘i Island.
“We are thrilled that the $15,000 grant award will help us continue our efforts to protect native wildlife, restore habitats, and bring our hands-on environmental education programs to youth across Hawai‘i Island,” said Megan Lamson, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund president. “We are grateful for the volunteer and financial support from local businesses and these unique opportunities to engage new audiences in our conservation activities!”
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Hawaiian Electric also partnered on two stewardship activities led by employee Alex Kelepolo, recipient of the 2022 Kokua Community Champion Service Award. Employees and their families volunteered to collect marine debris that washed ashore on Kamilo Point in October 2019 and April 2023.
“I led this project to educate and raise awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on our environment and native wildlife and the impact volunteers and Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund have made on our island,” Kelepolo said. “Serving our community is priceless. It’s giving your time, dedication and heart to mālama ‘āina. We all have kuleana to ensure the preservation and protection of Hawai‘i’s natural resources for future generations.”
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund has been working with community members on coastal habitat restoration and marine wildlife protection efforts along the Ka‘ū coastline since 2001. With the help of thousands of volunteers, it has collectively removed more than 320 tons of marine debris from shorelines and reefs on the island. To learn more, visit wildhawaii.org.