News Briefs | March 2022


Defending the Wai of Kapūkakī

Photo: Red Hill Protestors at the Capitol
Representatives of more than 50 organizations converged on the capitol on February 10 demanding that the U.S. Navy defuel and permanently close its fuel storage tanks at Kapūkakī. “The Navy has set a course into a sea of deceptions and finds itself today stranded alone on an island of delusion,” said one of Kaʻohewai’s core leaders Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer. “While the Navy believes it can fight a legal mandate to defuel its failing Red Hill facility, we believe their resistance is futile. The Navy should lay down its weapons, stop fighting against Hawaiʻi, and shutdown Red Hill.” – Photo: Jason Lees

Waiʻanae the First Precovery-Pod Site

Photo: Disaster Recovery Pods

Hawaiʻi Foodservice Alliance (HFA) is partnering with neighboring communities to create Hawaiʻi’s first-ever disaster precovery-pods for some of our most vulnerable communities.

The food pods will provide long-term meal storage to support communities that are vulnerable to natural disasters. The vision is to establish food pods throughout the state. The first precovery-pod will be located in Waiʻanae and will be maintained by the Waiʻanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

The name “precovery” denotes that these are planned and installed pre-disaster to help ensure that communities have food supplies in place should the need arise. The precovery-pod is designed to hold 135,000 meals to be used to help feed people in the community until normal supply chains resume. These meals are shelf stable, healthy, survival food that can be stored for up to 25 years.

“Some of Hawaiʻi’s most vulnerable communities are at risk of being blocked from emergency services including food distribution,” said Chad Buck, CEO of HFA. “Understanding that the Waiʻanae community has limited access made it the ideal location to place the first precovery-pod. We have been working with county, state, and federal government agencies regarding disaster preparedness for two years and hope that they will adopt this concept and deploy these precovery-pods to our vulnerable communities before disaster strikes.”

For more information visit

Promoting Hawaiʻi-Grown Staples

The Hawaiʻi Foodservice Alliance (HFA) and the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative (HUC) are teaming up to address Hawaiʻi’s food security and self-sufficiency concerns by stocking retail supply chains across the state with locally grown staple foods that honor Hawaiʻi’s history, culture, and unique sense of place.

Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative’s line of recipe-ready, Hawaiʻi-grown staples – ʻulu (breadfruit), kalo (taro), palaʻai (pumpkin), and ʻuala (sweet potato) – will now be available pre-cooked, frozen and chopped at local grocery stores.

HFA is the largest locally owned supplier of perishable foods to grocers, retailers, and club chains throughout the state and HUC is a farmer-owned food hub for a diverse network of small farms across Hawaiʻi Island, Oʻahu, and Maui.

In January, HFA launched the co-op’s retail line of frozen staples in the freezer aisles of grocery stores throughout the state. These convenient 12 ozs. bags of cleaned, cut, and pre-cooked ʻulu, kalo, ʻuala, and palaʻai will come ready to reheat and add to whatever you are cooking: salads, stir fry, soups or stews.

“ ʻUlu are fast-growing and require very little labor, fertilizer, or pesticides compared to other crops,” said Dana Shapiro, general manager of the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative. “In fact, ʻulu is considered a superfood because of its exceptional nutritional value, making it a perfect food to move our state toward a more secure and resilient future.”

Hawaiʻi shoppers can find these staples at Longs/CVS, Tamura’s Enterprises, Tamura’s Super Waiʻanae, and Waiʻanae Store. Find new and exciting recipes at

Alakoko Fishpond Fundraising Campaign

Photo: Alakoko Fishpond

A campaign launched by nonprofits Mālama Hulē ʻia and The Trust for Public Land to support the restoration and future use of the 600-year-old Alakoko Fishpond has raised nearly $190,000 in gifts ranging from $25 to $95,000.

Local residents, businesses, and foundations have stepped up to protect and invest in this Kauaʻi wahi pana, known also as Alekoko Fishpond or Menehune Fishpond.

Financial gifts support the future of Alakoko Fishpond and will help with projects such as repairing the fishpond wall, building a traditional hale to be used as a classroom, delivering impactful educational programs to Kauaʻi schools, and developing a master plan and vision for the property with community input.

The fundraising campaign kicked off in November 2021 after Mālama Hulēʻia and The Trust for Public Land announced the successful purchase of Alakoko Fishpond.

The fishpond, now owned by Mālama Hulēʻia, will be protected and used in perpetuity for conservation and education. More than 100 donors have already been inspired to help support Alakoko’s future. If you would like to invest in the fishpond’s future, please join the community fundraising campaign at

Environmental Groups Sue Maui Grand Wailea

Photo: ʻUaʻu

Conservation groups in Hawaiʻi represented by Earthjustice have filed a lawsuit against Maui’s Grand Wailea Resort for failing to address the bright lights on its property that attract endangered Hawaiian petrels, or ʻuaʻu, frequently leading to their grounding and death.

For more than a decade, the bright lights at the Grand Wailea have disoriented the seabirds as they navigate between their breeding colonies and the ocean.

Last year, the Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi and Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter of intent to sue the Grand Wailea, warning that the resort’s lights harm the ʻuaʻu, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Although the resort modified some lights in response to the letter, a grounded fledgling was recovered during the 2021 fallout season, indicating ongoing harm to the species.

“The Grand Wailea knows that its lights are harming imperiled seabirds on Maui. This isn’t rocket science — there are pragmatic, straightforward solutions the resort could — and, by law, should — be pursuing,” said Leinā ʻala Ley, an attorney in Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific Office. “We’re taking the Grand Wailea to court to ensure the resort becomes a responsible neighbor, rather than watch native birds like the Hawaiian petrel disappear.”

ʻUa ʻu are federally endangered native seabirds that travel thousands of miles across the Pacific to forage. However, Hawaiʻi is the only place on Earth where they breed.

“Fashion Fit for Royalty Tour” at ʻIolani Palace

Iolani Palace Fashion

ʻIolani Palace’s newest specialty tour highlights royal fashion and jewelry from 19th-century Hawaiʻi. This private, intimate tour allows guests a closer look at the opulent gowns, elegant uniforms, and precious accessories that were worn at formal court occasions.

“Over the years, we’ve been so fortunate to acquire some beautiful reproductions of garments worn by our aliʻi that have helped us to deepen our understanding of Hawaiʻi’s history,” said Paula Akana, executive director of The Friends of ʻIolani Palace. “We hope that our guests will enjoy learning about Hawaiʻi from this new and unique perspective.”

Guests get a closer look at items and garments that help to contextualize this significant time in Hawaiʻi’s history, including reproductions of Queen Kapiʻolani’s coronation gown, King Kalākaua’s uniforms, and Queen Liliʻuokalani’s ribbon gown, as well as royal orders in the Palace’s collection and much more.

The tour takes guests through the first-floor State Rooms of the Palace; Queen Kapiʻolani’s Bedroom, the King’s Library, and Music Room on the second floor; and the Chamberlain’s Office in the Basement Galleries. To match the occasion, docents wear special dress attire as they grace the palace rooms to showcase the historical garments and accessories.

The Fashion Fit for Royalty Tour is available on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. For more information or to book a visit, go to

Painting Murals Around ʻAʻala Park

The Trust for Public Land and Better Block Hawaiʻi recently partnered with Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s Mural Club to paint three bus shelters and nine utility boxes surrounding ʻA ʻala Park to promote pedestrian safety, visibility, and access to the park.

The public artwork also celebrates the area’s rich history and cultural diversity. This effort is part of a larger community-driven “Parks for People Program” led by The Trust for Public Land to catalyze revitalization of Hawaiʻi’s urban parks.

Kamehameha’s Mural Club, a group of 20 students who paint murals at their campus and in the surrounding community, was selected as the lead artist of this project through a community-wide selection process, facilitated by Hawaiʻi FEAST. The new art shares traditional moʻolelo from the area to help connect the past to the present.

The bus shelter murals depict Lepeamoa, a moʻolelo from the neighboring ahupuaʻa of Kapālama (ʻAʻala Park is located in the Kou Ahupuaʻa). The story is about a girl who could turn into a beautiful chicken with feathers that were the colors of every native bird. The students designed, installed, and painted the murals in partnership with KVIBE and other community members and organizations.

The Trust for Public Land and Better Block Hawaiʻi plan to carry this project forward through additional murals and art programming to encourage the community to visit and enjoy ʻAʻala Park and other urban parks.

Parks for the People Program

Photo: Students from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s Mural Club paint a utility box
Students from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s Mural Club paint a utility box on the corner of Liliha and N. King Streets in downtown Honolulu. The project, a collaboration with the Trust for Public Land and Better Block Hawaiʻi, seeks to promote pedestrian safety, visibility and access to urban parks. The students painted three bus shelters and nine utility boxes in the area surrounding ʻAʻala Park. – Photo: John Bilderback

Department of Interior Enhancing Compliance with NAGPRA

The National Park Service (NPS) has hired a full-time investigator to enhance oversight and museum compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for the first time in the Act’s 31-year history.

Additionally, the Department of the Interior (DOI) recently completed consultations with 71 Tribal Nations across the U.S. to improve NAGPRA regulations. These efforts will further the DOI’s commitment to facilitate and ensure respectful disposition and repatriation under NAGPRA.

The proposed changes to NAGPRA regulations, available for public review and comment later this year, would streamline requirements for museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Indigenous human remains and cultural items in their collections.

“The repatriation of human remains and sacred cultural objects, and the protection of sacred sites, is integral to preserving and commemorating Indigenous culture,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Changes to the NAGPRA regulations are long overdue.”

The proposed updates will incorporate input from more than 700 specific comments made by Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations during consultations.

“Repatriation is a sacred responsibility for many Native Americans. We hope our efforts to streamline the requirements of NAGPRA and invest in additional staff will lead to more instances of proper repatriation and reburial of Indigenous ancestors and cultural items,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams.

HDOT And FWHA Seeking Input From Native Hawaiian Organizations

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are seeking input from Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs) to improve the historic preservation consultation process for transportation projects.

HDOT and FHWA are looking for feedback from NHOs on the current consultation process as well as suggestions on how to improve. NHO representatives are invited to attend a Scoping Meeting to learn more about these protocols and to provide input into the process and development of this document. There are two meeting options: Saturday, March 12, 2022, from 9:00 to 10:30 AM; and Monday, March 14, from 5:00 to 6:30 PM.

Interested participants can register at the following link(s):

QR Code: Meeting 1

Scoping Meeting #1
Saturday, March 12, 2022, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

QR Code: Meeting 2

Scoping Meeting #2
Monday, March 14, 2022, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the impact of projects they carry out, assist, fund, or permit on historic properties, especially properties of religious and cultural significance. In Hawaiʻi an important part of this process is consultation with NHOs.

Interested parties can also provide feedback through a survey at Survey responses will be anonymous, and the survey will remain open until further notice.

For additional information or to request the survey in an alternative format such as large print, please contact the project team at or (808) 392‑1617.