Hawaiian Electric grants/donations strengthen environmental protection, sustainability efforts by locally-based nonprofits

A total of $83,000 awarded

Release Date: 10/12/2022

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HONOLULU, Oct. 12, 2022 – Hawaiian Electric has awarded a total of $83,000 in environmental grants and donations to eight local nonprofit organizations contributing to the long-term protection and sustainability of Hawaii’s unique ecosystem. The funds will support habitat conservation and restoration, reforestation, native and protected species recovery, and community engagement programs.

Hawaii Forest Institute, formed in 2003 to protect and perpetuate Hawaii’s forests, has launched a project to encourage residents, businesses and schools to grow Native Hawaiian and Polynesian-introduced plants. The “Go Native” project includes a video series, grower’s guide, community portal and digital database on plants to support individuals with instructions and advice on starting and maintaining a native garden.

Hawaii Land Trust, the first nationally accredited land trust in the state, is working to protect and restore native ecosystems on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai. The foundation of the nonprofit’s Climate Change Mitigation Program is a deeply grounded belief in using indigenous wisdom and cutting-edge science to steward lands and build resilience.

Hawaii Wildlife Center, based in Kapaau, Hawaii Island, is the first-of-its-kind wildlife response and conservation organization exclusively for Native Hawaiian wildlife. Funding will support the Oahu Seabird Aid Program which provides rehabilitation and care to injured and downed seabirds on Oahu during peak fallout season, mid-September to mid-December.

Kakoo Oiwi is a community-based nonprofit with a long-range project to restore agricultural and ecological productivity to nearly 405 acres within the Heeia, Oahu wetlands. Community workdays, outdoor educational classrooms and haku lei-making workshops are among its programs that are helping to restore cultural connections between the land and community.

Kupu, a conservation and youth education nonprofit, marked its 15th anniversary with the Lau Kupu Day of service involving more than 150 volunteers in a major effort to remove invasive algae from the nearshore waters of Maunalua Bay in East Oahu. Volunteers collected 2,700 pounds of algae from 600 square meters within the Paiko Restoration Area. Kupu donated all the algae to the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center to be recycled as compost.

Malama Learning Center, located in West Oahu, brings together area schools, residents and businesses around a shared ethic of caring and conservation to create healthy, sustainable living environments. The Ola Na Kini program, now in its fifth year, aims to heal the land and sea through restoration of native and edible forests and communities in Leeward Oahu.

North Shore Community Land Trust is the primary caretaker of Kahuku Point, a culturally and ecologically significant coastal strand on Oahu’s northernmost tip. The area is home to a wide variety of Native Hawaiian coastal plants that provide habitat for the endangered endemic Yellow-Faced Bee and a number of seabird species including the Layson albatross. It also provides nesting grounds for Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles.

The Kalaeokaunaoa Restoration Project engages community volunteers to help restore the area through removal of invasive species and marine debris, and out-plantings of Native Hawaiian coastal plants.

The Trust for Public Land in Hawaii works closely with communities and advocates to create, protect and steward nature-rich places that are vital to human well-being. In an effort to safeguard the vital lands and waterways of the Maunawili Forest & Loi in Windward Oahu, TPL is managing the acquisition from a private landowner.

Once acquired, the land will be transferred to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife – under the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources – which will manage the lands as a forest reserve in partnership with local nonprofits. The agricultural and loi lands will be under nonprofit community ownership to transform the lands back to productivity, perpetuate aina-based education, restore traditional loi kalo, dryland farming and agroforestry, and increase the islands’ food security.