Vol. 9 #2
PROVIDING NEEDY COMMUNITIES WITH EXCESS PRODUCE
Ho Farms in Kahuku has donated over 30,000 pounds of excess produce so far this year to Aloha Harvest.
LEARN HOW YOUR FARM OR FOOD ESTABLISHMENT CAN DO THE SAME WITH YOUR ABUNDANCE. Aloha Harvest is the only non-profit organization in the state of Hawai`i that rescues quality, donated food and delivers it free of charge to social service agencies that serve low income and homeless populations. Please kokua today. Visit www.alohaharvest.org or call 808-537-6945.
MARCH 31 - APRIL 9, 2017 Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
GREEN GETS AN UPGRADE Paradise Helicopters has launched a first-of-its-kind program in partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative and Legacy Carbon that gives guests the opportunity to “green their seat” while experiencing Hawai‘i’s most incredible sights.
For nearly 20 years, Paradise Helicopters has provided a bird’s-eye view of Hawai‘i’s natural wonders and access to its most remote landmarks. Now guests can have this experience for free just by sponsoring the planting of native Legacy Trees here in Hawai‘i. Guests can visit LegacyTrees. org to select from a wide range of tax-deductible tree-planting options within the Hawaiian Legacy Forest. Sponsorship options include endemic koa or sandalwood Legacy Trees that will be planted for permanent reforestation and managed by the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI). Paradise Helicopters will then provide a menu of helicopter tours based on the sponsor’s tree-planting choice. For instance, sponsoring 16 koa Legacy Trees will earn the donor a free 75-minute Oahu Circle Island Tour. “Paradise Helicopters guests can now play an active role in reforesting Hawai‘i’s native trees and re-establishing critical habitat for endangered wildlife, even if they don’t have the opportunity to plant trees in person,” says Calvin Dorn, CEO of Paradise Helicopters. “This new program is a seamless extension of our longstanding commitment to environmentally responsible operations and community stewardship, which is part of our Paradise Hoomaluo Program.”
Paradise is the first and only air tour company in the state to offer carbon-neutral flights, with all carbonoffset fees used to plant endemic trees here in Hawai‘i. Legacy Carbon is the only certified carbon-credit program of any kind in Hawai‘i, with credits certified by the Gold Standard Foundation in Switzerland. Legacy Carbon uses a proprietary radio-frequency identification (RFID) geo-tagging technology that accurately verifies ongoing growth, maintenance, genealogy and carbon-sequestration data of each tree. This technology has helped create the most intricately mapped forest in the world. “More than 350,000 native trees and understory species have been planted in the Legacy Forest to date, thanks to the support of tens of thousands of individual sponsors, organizations and partnerships with forward-thinking companies like Paradise Helicopters,” says Jeff Dunster, executive director of HLRI. Founded in 1997, Paradise is widely recognized for its industryleading safety practices and exclusive tours. It also operates flights for invasive-species identification and eradication, watershed rehabilitation, firefighting and tree planting.
To offset the environmental impact of their flight, guests can also choose to purchase Legacy Tree carbon credits on most Paradise flights across Hawai‘i, which span Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, Maui and Lana‘i. Credits are $6 per seat on tours less than 90 minutes and $8 per seat on tours longer than 90 minutes. Carbon offsets are standard on select flights, including the Volcano-Eco Landing Tour on Hawai‘i Island, which offers service to the Hawaiian Legacy Forest in addition to other extraordinary charter experiences. ADVERTORIAL
To book your free helicopter tour for sponsoring Legacy Trees, visit HawaiianLegacyTours.com. For more on carbon-neutral flights, visit ParadiseCopters.com.
CONTENTS VOLUME 9 NUMBER 2 // APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2017
GREEN ________________________________________________ 08 Cool Stuff
Versatile and eco-conscious Pikai swimwear
East Kapolei Middle School is on track to become the first CHPS campus in the country
Climate change is impacting low-lying islands across the Pacific
Farm-to-school initiative on the Big Island is turning school gardens into school farms
DESIGN ________________________________________________ 14 Reimagine, Redo and Renew
Plantation-style luxury, net-zero design and energy-efficient upgrades—three homes that raise the bar
Green Builders Hawaii introduces a recycled foam panel building system
Natural fiber carpet from American Carpet One
ENERGY ________________________________________________ 26 Green Energy Evolution
Hawai‘i’s big and bold alternative energy projects are making an impact toward our 100 percent renewable energy goal
Lex Brodie’s Executive Director Scott Williams says regular maintenance reduces environmental impacts
Chelsea Group CEO George Benda transforms existing buildings into sustainable, highperformance structures
DESIGNED AND BUILT BY ARCHIPELAGO HAWAII AND MOKULUA HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDER, THE MAUKA TO MAKAI HOME COMBINES LUXURY AND SUSTAINABILITY. IT’S ALSO A LEED PLATINUM CERTIFIED DWELLING TO BOOT. PHOTO: Augie Salbosa Photography
GRE E NM A G A Z I N E H AWA I I .C O M
34 Test Drive 2017
Hop in with us and test drive the latest EVs and hybrid vehicles available in Hawai‘i
NATURE ________________________________________________ 42 Reforestation
Jeff Dunster, founder of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, planted koa trees and created a native forest ecosystem
46 Try Wait
A concerned Big Island coastal community implements a 10-year no-take zone to stem rapidly declining fish populations
Photo: Kristen Maize
ON THE COVER _______________________________
Miles EPA-Estimated Total Driving Range*
EPA-Estimated Combined MPG*
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E XPERIENCE THE AL L-NE W 2 017 PRIUS PRIME AT YOUR TOYOTA HAWAII DE AL ERS.
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* 2017 Prius Prime EPA-estimated range rating when fully charged and with a full tank of gas. Excludes driving conditions. Actual mileage will vary.
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(standard outlet) • 2 Hours and 10 Minutes Charging Time (240V)
Published by Element Media, Inc. VOLUME 9 :: NUMBER 2 :: APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2017
President Jamie Giambrone
Art Director Keith Usher
Publisher Naomi Hazelton
Contributing Writers Amanda Corby, Aja Hannah, Lindsey Kesel, Molly Mamaril
Managing Editor Kevin Whitton Editor Lauren McNally email@example.com
Contributing Photographers Aaron Bernard, Dave Miyamoto, Darryl Watanabe
Vice President of Sales and Marketing Nicholas Riopelle firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Account Executive Jennifer Dorman Publishers’ Assistant Thomas Goodwin Administration Crystal Rogers, Sally Shaner
Subscribe and read online at greenmagazinehawaii.com. Contact Element Media at 1088 Bishop Street, Suite 1130, Honolulu, HI 96813; 808.737.8711. Follow Green on facebook at facebook.com/GreenMagazineHawaii and on Twitter at @greenmaghawaii.
Green Magazine Hawai‘i is a quarterly publication available through subscription, direct mail and bookstores throughout Hawai‘i. The views expressed within Green Magazine Hawai‘i do not necessarily reflect the opinions of management and ownership. Green Magazine Hawai‘i may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
COOL STUFF // DESIGN // CLIMATE // FOOD
| COOL STUFF |
Photos: Pikai Swim Hawaii
Designer Malia Costa grew up surfing at Diamond Head and sailing Māmala Bay. Today, the pattern maker and seamstress channels her passion for design, art and movement into her line of versatile, eco-conscious swimwear and activewear. 1 1. CUSTOM TOP/BOTTOM Customizing your suit is the ultimate Pikai experience. Choose from a variety of reversible, seamless designs made of nylonand-spandex-blend fabric handpicked in Brazil. New styles and prints are released every season. [starting at $150]
2. BODYSUIT Pikai’s single-layer bodysuit will protect you from the sun all day long. [$160] 3. SWIM LEGGINGS Fitted close to the body to reduce resistance, these single-layer swim leggings feel like a second skin whether you wear them in or out of the water. [$100] 4. RASH GUARD This reversible, seamless rash guard is made of durable, antibacterial fabric offering 100 percent UV protection. Available in a variety of colors and patterns. [$90]
5. KEIKI RACERBACK CROP AND SWIM LEGGINGS Keiki can pair this simple high-neck racerback top with matching swim leggings, shorts or bikini bottoms. [top $45, leggings $75] 6. LACE-UP MONOKINI Find your perfect fit in the brand’s signature monokini. Reversible and seamless with adjustable lace-up design. [$185]
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I .C O M
COOL STUFF // DESIGN // CLIMATE // FOOD
East Kapolei Middle School is on track to becoming the first CHPS Verified campus in the country
Renderings: Ferraro Choi
East Kapolei Middle School, a new, state-of-the-art educational facility in the Campbell-Kapolei Complex, is seeking the nation’s first campus-wide Collaborative for High Performance Schools verification, a sustainable design metric promoting relaxed and healthy learning environments. The project is a joint effort between architects Ferraro Choi and Associates and Seattle-based firm The Miller Hull Partnership, who are actively working with the Department of Education to make modifications to the national CHPS rating system to better suit the culture and microclimate of Leeward O‘ahu. A key component is the project’s emphasis on classrooms dedicated to STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. “For students to flourish,
comfort of all types is absolutely essential,” says Miller Hull Principal Ruth Baleiko. “The architectural expression has been designed specifically to feel modern and welcoming—and provide ease of upkeep over decades of use.” Design sketches of the 212,000-square-foot campus reveal spacious rooms, greenspaces for outdoor classrooms, solar power and natural lighting and ventilation. According to Ferraro Choi Project Architect Mark Ayers, the classrooms can be easily reconfigured with furniture and movable displays to encourage both active and reflective learning. The end goal for this high-performance facility? Highperforming students. —Molly Mamaril
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CAN’T STOP THE CHANGE
Climate change is impacting low-lying islands across the Pacific and forcing entire communities to consider migration to higher ground Some of the most severe impacts of climate change are already being seen in the Marshall Islands, where climate change is impacting access to the region’s subsistence food supply. The Marshall Islands sit an average of five feet above sea level; as sea levels rise, storms are inundating larger areas of communities and agriculture fields. A third of the Marshall Islands population now reside outside of their homeland, and many look to Hawai‘i as their new home. In December 2016, Alaska Sea Grant hosted its Symposium on Climate Displacement, Migration and Relocation at Kapi‘olani Community College to address how climate change is influencing the displacement of Pacific people, especially in Alaska and the Marshall Islands. Panelists from the Alaska coastal communities of Shishmaref, Kivalina and Unalakleet addressed the region’s decline in shore-fast ice and the resulting erosion caused by its severe fall storms. Other sessions at the symposium were dedicated to discussing the legal framework for relocation at the state, national and international levels. In some parts of the
Pacific, island residents are planning their move and even buying land in other Pacific nations, as sea level rise is expected to overtake their islands in the next century. The climate is expected to gradually become more extreme in the Pacific in the next century, and rising sea levels will continue to impact coastal communities and may ultimately overtake some Pacific nations. “Whether climate change is real or whether it’s exacerbated by anthropogenic influence is no longer the question,” says Davin Holen, Alaska Sea Grant coastal community resilience specialist. “We have already reached the tipping point. Residents of coastal communities and islands in the Pacific are experiencing a changing climate in real time, and it’s already impacting their health, safety and way of life. The question now is how do we give coastal communities and island peoples in the Pacific the tools and the assistance they need in preparing their communities to deal with the challenges of today, and to plan sustainable communities for their children and grandchildren?” —Amanda Corby
Photo: Under My Umbrella
First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige and keynote speaker Honorable John M. Silk of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
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| FOOD |
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Farm-to-school initiative is turning school gardens into school farms Schools across the nation are recognizing the link between healthy food and healthy students. Farm-to-school meal programs are replacing fast food and providing opportunities for students to see where their food comes from and to even cultivate the produce that ends up on their plate. About 80 percent of K–12 public schools in Hawai‘i have a garden on site, 93 percent of which are used for instructional purposes. But lately, school administrators are looking to do more than just grow vegetables—they’re utilizing the produce in their on-site kitchens and creating a stronger supply and demand for purchasing food from local farms for school cafeterias. As the project grows, it will support local businesses, encourage agricultural expansion and sustainability and teach students about career opportunities in the agricultural field. The farm-to-school initiative launched on the Big Island at the Kohala School Complex—which includes Kohala Elementary, Kohala Intermediate and Kohala High—because of its central kitchen, multiple gardens and robust high school agriculture program. Since the new menu debuted on January 9, Kohala Elementary School Principal Danny Garcia says more kids are eating their fruits and vegetables, he’s seeing better behavior in the cafeteria, more kids are ordering lunches and more staff and adults are getting in line, too. Principal Garcia even noted that milk waste is down now that water is offered as a drink option. —Aja Hannah
FEATURING LOCAL PRODUCE FOR THE FRESHEST FLAVORS & ISLAND SUSTAINABILITY 767 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI 96734 (808) 261-1000 Open 7 days a week with breakfast on Sat. & Sun. Breakfast: 10:00am-2:00pm Lunch: 11:00am-3:30pm Dinner: 5:00pm-10:00pm Happy Hour: 3:30pm-5:30pm
Photo: Augie Salbosa Photography
| BUILD |
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
REIMAGINE, REDO AND RENEW Plantation-style luxury, net-zero design and energy efficient upgrades are the new norm for sustainable renovations, additions and upgrades.
Archipelago Hawaii, Mokulua High Performance Builder and Green Sand Architecture + Sustainability are leading the field with integrated design and build strategies, while RevoluSun Smart Home has set the bar for complete smart home strategies.
MAUKA TO MAKAI Archipelago Hawaii and Mokulua High Performance Builder teamed up to create the Mauka to Makai project, a simple yet elegant plantation-style home with remarkable sustainable efficiencies. The luxurious, 1,700-square-foot custom home earned LEED Platinumlevel certification in addition to meeting a strict budget and all of the
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
homeownersâ€™ specifications. Boasting a variety of sustainable features, including solar hot water, Energy Star appliances, and native and regionally appropriate restored landscaping, Mauka to Makai is the perfect marriage of luxury style and eco-friendly design.
The kitchen was configured to house a freestanding dining table, which can be adjoined to the matching exterior dining table to entertain friends and family.
Photos: Augie Salbosa Photography
In order to take advantage of the stunning views, the main living area was elevated to create a tri-level home design, allowing for the best views from the great room and master suite. The third bedroom was transformed into a multipurpose space with the addition of a Murphy bed and drop-leaf table. Mauka to Makaiâ€™s impressive sustainable checklist includes ThermaWrap house wrap, low-e windows and exterior door glazing, solar hot water, Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, an Energy Star-certified roof and onsite stormwater retention with vegetative swales, rain gardens and a dry well.
The Haiku fan from Big Ass Fans is up to 80 percent more efficient than a traditional ceiling fan. Composed of premium materials, such as fastrenewing moso bamboo and aircraft-grade aluminum, the Haiku fan also includes a feature that simulates natural breezes and can autonomously select varying fan speeds to achieve a preset room temperature. Ceiling fans achieve the best cooling results when paired with a wholehouse fan.
ENERGY-EFFICIENT UPGRADES A home renovation doesnâ€™t always mean gutting the kitchen, adding a room or retiling the shower. Colin Yost, principal and general counsel at RevoluSun Smart Home, upgraded his residence by combining specific smart appliances with the proper doors and windows to achieve a holistic home with a healthy internal environment. Yostâ€™s home energy renovation was focused on making the home as energy efficient as possible by mitigating inefficiencies and installing energy-efficient appliances 18
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
for energy generation and storage, water heating, natural lighting and space cooling. Yost installed articulating skylights, solar tubes, ceiling fans and a whole-house fan to increase the efficiency of his self-supply PV system and even replaced the poolâ€™s aging pump with a solar-powered, energy-efficient pool pump. These small upgrades not only save energy and money, they also create a home with health and longevity at its core.
QuietCool whole-house fans provide energy-efficient ventilation and cooling that are proven to save homeowners up to 90 percent on their air conditioning bills and may eliminate the need for A/C altogether. Whole-house fans exhaust and ventilate the air inside a home, keeping it fresh while ridding it of irritants like pet dander, odors, germs, smoke and VOC gases. When sized correctly, a whole-house fan system will actually refresh the air in your home every two to three minutes.
Velux solar-powered articulating skylights release heat and humidity and let in the cool trades. They come equipped with a sensor that closes the skylight at the first drop of rain, and the insulated glass panels feature low-e coatings to minimize heat gain. Velux PV-powered fresh-air skylights are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit due to their integrated PV technology and are suitable for both new installations and retrofits.
HALE KALAWAHINE Hale Kalawahine is a renovation of an existing home built in 1936 by Green Sand Architecture + Sustainability. The primary goal was to cool the house so that it was comfortable year round, all day long and, most importantly, without air conditioning. The owners also modernized the kitchen, replaced the roof and expanded the lanai with the ultimate goal of creating a net-zero home. Simple Shaker-style detailing was employed throughout the home to honor the character and feeling of the original residence. New doors and windows match the horizontal mullion pattern of the original window system, and the interior and exterior were repainted with a soft, subtle color palette.
The existing roofing was removed down to the skip sheathing and replaced with cedar shingle roofing installed over Techshield, a radiant barrier roof sheathing. The attic space was insulated with R-30 batt insulation installed in the attic floor. The number and area of eave vents were doubled, and roof vents were added near the ridge of the roof. The final strategy was the installation of a whole-house fan that pulls cooler air from the lower parts of the home and pushes out hot air from the attic. 20
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
The owners needed to mitigate heat gain through the southwest-facing façade of the home, which was accomplished by adding a covered lanai across the entire southwest façade. The lanai provides shade for the master bedroom below, and the roof over the lanai provides shade for the family room and parlor.
Photos: Hal Lum Photography
Here’s how Green Sand Architecture + Sustainability created a comfortable indoor environment. Solatubes and additional windows were installed in the kitchen to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. New double-wall construction was insulated with R-15 batt insulation. The ceiling lights are all ICAT rated to reduce heat transfer from the attic to the interior space. The team also used low-VOC paints, coatings, sealants and adhesives during construction.
After natural ventilation and daylighting strategies were implemented, a photovoltaic system was the last piece of the puzzle to reduce the home’s energy load and eliminate the need for an A/C system. GREENMAGAZINE HAWAII.COM
ALLANA BUICK & BERS Allana Buick & Bers, Inc. (ABBAE) specializes in making buildings perform better and reducing risk in construction. ABBAE is dedicated to providing comprehensive and innovative solutions with awardwinning expertise in building envelope design, architectural engineering, energy consulting and construction management. ABBAE is customer-focused, providing expert advice using advanced technologies for time-enduring solutions. ABBAE provides expert building envelope, roofing and waterproofing, architectural, energy consultation and construction-phase services based on real-world experience gained from our building forensic background. For over 30 years, ABBAE has established itself as a premier Architectural-Engineering firm specializing in the building envelope field for new construction, remedial repair and building-rehabilitation projects. Some of the highest-risk elements in construction are exterior facades, roofing and waterproofing, while energy consumption is the highest operational expense for most buildings. ABBAE believes
that long-lasting buildings work hand in glove along with energyefficient buildings to achieve sustainability. Longevity of buildings is often dependent on decay and damage from sun, rain, wind and weatherization. The building exteriors take the brunt of the damage from weatherization, and increasing the energy efficiency and durability of the exterior envelope is the key to sustainable buildings. Sustainable and durable buildings with low operating costs have long been integral to our core values. These beliefs were part of our mission long before it became an industry trend. We strive to reduce the construction communityâ€™s carbon footprint and environmental impact. We design building components to last longer, provide alternative energy solutions and decrease building operating costs by reducing the maintenance cycle and energy usage. Poor choice of exterior building materials and subpar construction practices lead to premature building failures and increase ownership and operational costs, energy consumption, and disposal and landfill volume, in addition to leaving a larger carbon footprint. Durable, long-lasting buildings require fewer repairs, consuming fewer resources in the process. Weâ€™ve repeatedly proven that integrating sustainable solutions in new construction and building repairs increases longevity, benefits the environment and ultimately improves our clientsâ€™ financial bottom line.
GEORGE AND RAYSON NOGUCHI GREEN BUILDERS HAWAII
| BUILD |
BUILT TO LAST Green Builders Hawaii introduces GigaCrete by Lindsey Kesel
Photos: Green Builders Hawaii
“People deserve to enjoy their homes and have peace of mind that their investment is built to last and is environmentally responsible. It really doesn’t make sense to build conventionally anymore.” —Rayson Noguchi
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
eorge and Rayson Noguchi share a passion for sustainable building. They are on a mission to introduce 21st-century building systems to Hawai‘i that not only help the environment by saving trees and minimizing fossil fuel use but also provide highly durable structures that resist the elements. When George opened Green Builders Hawaii in 2002, he became the first local business authorized to offer the greenfocused building system known as SABS, a recyclable foam panel system composed of 94 percent air. Today, Rayson is following in his father’s footsteps, building his own business around another incredible sustainable building material. As manager of GigaCrete Hawaii, Rayson applies nearly a decade of experience working with his dad on composite building technologies to distribute GigaCrete, an innovative building system that uses a steel frame encapsulated within thick foam insulation and covered with non-toxic, cement-based coatings. The coatings are resistant to the destructive forces that have negatively impacted Hawai‘i homeowners for generations—termites, fire, hurricanes and mold. The complete building system also cuts construction times significantly and provides excellent thermal insulation, allowing for significant reductions in energy use from air conditioning.
Photo: American Carpet One
AMERICAN CARPET ONE
| HOME |
NO SLIPPERS PLEASE Sink your feet into natural fiber flooring by Lindsey Kesel
he team at American Carpet One insists that having carpet in Hawai‘i is a luxury you can afford and one that doesn’t have to hurt the environment. Natural fiber carpets offer strength and durability without sacrificing quality and comfort. A staple in Hawai‘i’s flooring industry since 1974, American Carpet One carries a range of natural fiber carpet options including jute, sisal fiber made from the Mexican agave plant, seagrass reed, mountain grass and coir made from coconut husks. New Zealand wool, one of the company’s most popular flooring options, is a plush, high-quality woven carpet known for its comfort, resistance to matting, superior sound and heat insulating properties and its fire-retardant safety benefits.
| RENEWABLE |
Hawai‘i’s alternative distributed energies are advancing in the race to reach 100 percent renewable
By Lindsey Kesel Illustration Keith Usher
here’s proof that the Aloha State is going green. When Hawai‘i took an unprecedented stand to become the first state to set a legal deadline for 100 percent renewable energy in 2015, some said it couldn’t be done. As our lofty quest for a clean energy future grows from gradual integration to total domination by 2045, engineers and energy experts are tapping natural resources to create a balance of firm and variable renewable generation in order to wean us off of fossil fuels. Our collective efforts have made some remarkable progress over the past few years, and we’re poised for extraordinary growth in 2017. Here’s what’s been happening in Hawai‘i’s alternative energy sectors of solar, wind, water, geothermal and biofuel.
POWER Renewable wind power produces no toxic emissions with none of the heat-trapping emissions that contribute to global climate change. It’s also one of the fastest-growing sources of alternative energy in the world. Because Hawai‘i’s grids are small and freestanding and wind patterns are often erratic, island wind projects face the challenges of frequency and voltage inconsistency. Hawaiian Electric continues to work with outside experts on wind integration, “wind smoothing” and energystorage projects in order to maximize the use of wind power on our island grids and provide reliable power from wind-farm sources.
➤ HAWAI‘I’S WIND ENERGY PIONEERS Hawaiian Electric Industries, parent company of Hawaiian Electric Company, was founded in the mid-1980s with the goal of developing wind power in the islands. The company dedicated $25 million to develop a nine-megawatt wind farm and another $7 million for a 3.2-megawatt wind turbine—the world’s largest horizontal-axis wind turbine at the time— on O‘ahu’s North Shore. Though mechanical issues, turbulent winds and drops in oil prices led to their closure, the projects provided the industry with useful data.
➤ BATTERY STORAGE TESTING AT KAHEAWA WIND FARM The 14-turbine Kaheawa Wind II facility on Maui has integrated a state-of-the-art battery storage system. The 10-megawatt/20megawatt-hour system is designed to smooth the flow of wind-generated electricity sent to the grid and help Maui Electric Company maintain reliable service. The 21-megawatt wind farm, operational since 2012 and adjacent to Kaheawa Wind I, has the capacity to meet five percent of Maui’s annual electricity demands.
➤ TWO FLOATING WIND FARMS PROPOSED OFF O‘AHU’S COAST The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is leading an environmental assessment on developer AW Hawaii Wind’s proposal for a floating wind farm 12 miles off the coast of Ka‘ena Point on O‘ahu’s westernmost tip. The site would include 51 floating wind turbines anchored to the sea floor, with electrical cables to transport generated power. The developer has also proposed a second floating wind farm 17 miles south of Diamond Head on the island’s south shore.
HOW WIND ENERGY WORKS Generating wind power involves the use of oversized wind turbines that are connected to electricityproducing generators. Several turbines grouped together form a wind farm, with the turbines’ blades situated at a high altitude to capture stronger, steadier winds. The kinetic energy harnessed is then transformed into mechanical energy by the turbines and used to generate electricity.
➤ WIND PROPOSALS SOUGHT BY HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC Early in January, Hawaiian Electric Company put out a call for wind energy proposals to find and recruit developers capable of building utility-scale onshore wind projects in the islands—both to help Hawai‘i reach its energy goals and to bring electricity rates down. Viable projects should offer a capacity of five megawatts or more at a competitive rate. Hawaiian Electric Company is now analyzing expression-ofinterest proposals.
ENERGY In 2011, Hawaiian Electric Company successfully used 100 percent renewable biofuel to power a petroleum oil-fired steam turbine generator at Kahe Power Plant on O‘ahu, marking the first time a utility-scale steam unit has fired completely on biofuel at full capacity. Kelly Takaya King, vice president of local renewable fuels producer Pacific Biodiesel, says that to make a solid impact, the biofuel industry needs federal incentives, technology upgrades and efficiency improvements that help it operate at a lower cost, plus increased support at federal, state and county levels. Pacific Biodiesel is now consistently producing around 5.5 million gallons of biodiesel a year and considers the recent distillation of biodiesel a major breakthrough, a process that removes impurities and promotes outstanding performance.
➤ KEA‘AU BIOFUELS PLANT FIRST TO BE CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE
➤ BIODIESEL FOR TRANSITION PHASES AT MA‘ALAEA POWER PLANT
In April of 2016, Big Island Biodiesel became the only biodiesel plant to receive a U.S. certification of sustainability. Owned by Pacific Biodiesel, the Kea‘au facility now runs on 100 percent biofuel, produces nearly 13,000 gallons a day and received a platinum certification for distribution—meaning everything they deliver is transported solely with biodiesel energy.
Maui’s Ma‘alaea Power Plant, a petroleum diesel-powered plant, switched to biodiesel supplied by Pacific Biodiesel in 2004 to fuel its transition phases—when generators power up and down—allowing the plant to reduce its EPA fines and meet emissions standards. Pacific Biodiesel is now working with Maui Electric Company to get new diesel generators up and running on biodiesel.
ALGAE AND MAC NUT ENERGY PROJECTS In an industry that competes with petroleum, value-added products help biofuel producers stay in the game. Pacific Biodiesel is looking to use papaya waste to grow high-omega-3 algae as fish meal to support the aquaculture industry, using macadamia nut waste to develop a cosmetic line and planting the region’s first large-scale sunflower crop on Maui to produce oil for both food and fuel (cooking oil and biodiesel).
➤ BIG ISLAND BIOMASS PLANT GREENLIGHTED The Hawai‘i County Planning Department approved a 200-ton waste-to-energy plant in Waikoloa, set to open summer 2019 to provide natural gas for resorts and significantly reduce landfill impact. The environmental assessment cleared BioEnergy Hawaii to move forward with the 15-acre waste separation and anaerobic digestion facility that will produce methane to power garbage trucks and for electricity generation.
➤ CAMPBELL INDUSTRIAL PARK (CIP) PROJECT COMBINES BIOFUEL AND BATTERY STORAGE This past September, Hawaiian Electric Company’s first utility-scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) combined energy storage batteries and a corresponding inverter to export up to one megawatt of power to the grid at Campbell Industrial Park Generating Station, the world’s first commercial utility combustion turbine power plant powered entirely by sustainable biodiesel. The two-year BESS project will evaluate battery safety and effectiveness in an effort to integrate more clean energy into the circuit.
The widespread growth of rooftop solar made headlines, along with the notso-smooth shift from net energy metering to the current customer self-supply program. Hawaiian Electric Company is now seeking renewable integration from Maui and the Big Island and is expecting a strong response for grid-scale solar projects. There’s also a big focus right now on refining and integrating solar storage technology in a variety of settings, from solar farms to multiunit dwellings, to maximize and better control the clean power generated from Hawai‘i’s abundant sunshine.
➤ $10 MILLION SOLAR PV ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM AT O‘AHU WATER PARK
➤ FIRST SOLAR ENERGY COMBO SYSTEM INSTALLED AT HONOLULU CONDO
At Wet‘n’Wild Hawaii, a 29acre waterpark in West O‘ahu, a 108-kilowatt/216-kilowatt-hour Stem Inc. solar project became the largest customer-sited energy storage system in the state. Implemented as part of a three-year pilot program supported by the Energy Excelerator, Hawaiian Electric Company and the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the gridinteractive system is helping reduce energy costs during times of peak usage.
Honolulu-based EnSync Energy Systems installed a unique energy-plus-storage system at the 22-story Century West condo in Salt Lake, marking the first condominium storage project in Hawai‘i. The setup combines a PV system with EnSync’s Agile Hybrid Storage and Matrix Energy Management System to minimize residents’ energy costs and prevent power loss during grid outages.
➤ ENERGY STORAGE PROJECT IN MAUI Based in Rocklin, California, JLM Energy is looking to expand in Hawai‘i by setting up test programs for solar and energy storage systems. With 20 projects operational throughout the state and 25 more in the works, the company’s major Maui project focuses on a $10 million, three-megawatt solar array with a stateof-the-art, eight-megawatt-hour battery storage system.
➤ HAWAI‘I’S LARGEST SOLAR ENERGY FARM BECOMES OPERATIONAL Set on 200 acres near Wai‘anae’s Uluwehi community, Eurus Energy America’s EE Waianae Solar Project went online this January and is expected to triple the amount of utility-scale solar connected to O‘ahu’s grid. Currently, the 27.6-megawatt solar farm has the potential to power more than 4,000 homes and is one of the state’s lowest-cost renewable energy projects, selling to Hawaiian Electric Company at approximately 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
KAUA‘I HOSTS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR STORAGE SYSTEMS In collaboration with Virginiabased AES Distributed Energy, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is developing a solar-plus-battery storage project on the Garden Island’s south shore. The 28-megawatt solar farm, expected to be operational by late 2018, will utilize a 20-megawatt, five-hour energy storage system to produce 11 percent of the island’s electricity, pushing KIUC’s renewables to more than 50 percent.
➤ TESLA BATTERIES ENHANCE KAUA‘I SOLAR STORAGE PROJECT SolarCity is partnering with Tesla Motors to provide 52 megawatt hours of energy storage on demand, or 13 megawatts of capacity, for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative. The solar array and storage facility being built on 65 acres north of Lïhu’e will integrate Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion batteries to reduce fossil-fuel use during peak evening times. Set to finish early this year, it’s one of the first utility-scale systems in the country to provide dispatchable solar energy.
➤ WORLD’S LARGEST OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION (OTEC) PLANT The 100-kilowatt Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA) plant off the coast of the Big Island connected to the U.S grid in mid-2015, making it the first closed-loop OTEC energy facility in the world. Makai Ocean Engineering’s test site has since discovered that the process of converting wave motion into clean power is technically feasible, and current efforts are focusing on how to shrink cost barriers and apply it on a larger scale.
➤ HOW OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION WORKS Since the 1970s, Hawai‘i’s energy experts have been experimenting with ocean thermal energy conversion, a wave energy conversion process that leverages temperature differences between ocean surface water and deep water to generate electricity. OTEC plants create power by boiling water to make steam, then passing the steam through a turbine generator. Since OTEC systems must have a temperature difference of at least 25 degrees Celsius, tropical regions like Hawai‘i make perfect test sites.
Water ENERGY: WAVE & HYDROELECTRIC
Free and clean “fuel” converted from wave and river motion can potentially provide limitless energy. Because Hawai‘i gets some of the most powerful waves per square meter in the world, the islands are an ideal breeding ground for testing and refining ocean power technology. Hawai‘i has several hydroelectric projects in operation along with millions of dollars invested in developing wave energy potential. With affordability as a major objective, wave energy could conceivably meet a quarter of America’s energy needs.
POSSIBLE OTEC AND HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC PARTNERSHIP Though previous negotiations between WETS and Hawaiian Electric Company have stalled due in part to the higher cost of producing ocean energy, Hawaiian Electric Company spokesman Peter Rosegg says there is potential for a collaboration that could have a big impact on local energy. “We’ve always been open to proposals from OTEC developers as long as the price is advantageous to our customers,” Rosegg says. “Permitting and environmental assessment are among the challenges to an economically viable proposal. But if it does come to pass, ocean thermal energy conversion could be a significant game changer.”
➤ WAVE ENERGY TEST SITE (WETS): THE VANGUARD OF WAVE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT One mile off the coast of O‘ahu’s Käne‘ohe Bay, the first wave-produced electricity in the U.S. is being generated using a proprietary system in which the bobbing motion of a 40-kilowatt buoy is used to drive an electrical generator. WETS is exploring the technical obstacles and cost barriers, and experts say wave energy may prove viable within five to 10 years. The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Energy have dedicated funding to test five devices through 2018, with key research and logistical support from the Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute.
➤ HYDROELECTRIC SYSTEMS PROVIDE STEADY RIVERGENERATED POWER Hawai‘i’s several working run-of-river operations continue to contribute to the grid. Hydraulic turbine generators power 500 kilowatts at Maui Electric’s Makila Hydro plant in Lähainä, Maui. Two hydroelectric sites on the Wailuku River provide almost 3.5 megawatts of clean power to Hawaiian Electric Light Company, and Wailuku River Hydroelectric Power Company has been generating 11 megawatts of power since 1993. In Maui, HC&S operates three hydroelectric facilities to produce six megawatts of electricity. Moving forward, engineers have identified nearly 50 potential sites for new small-scale hydroelectric projects.
Geothermal power, already a proven source of firm renewable power, could play an even larger role in Hawai‘i’s clean energy future. Though areas with active volcanoes provide accessible reservoirs of steam or hot water, geothermal energy can be tapped below the surface using heat pumps and other specialized equipment. Currently, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company is recruiting prospective bidders and interested parties to expand geothermal energy on the Big Island.
WHY GEOTHERMAL? Unlike weather-dependent renewables like solar and wind, geothermal energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Because its source is the powerful heat generated by the earth’s core and the hot water used is recycled back into the ground, geothermal energy might just be the most sustainable renewable source available today.
➤ PUNA GEOTHERMAL VENTURE: HAWAI‘I’S FIRST AND ONLY GEOTHERMAL OPERATION Situated on the Kïlauea East Rift Zone on the Big Island, Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) has been in operation since 1993, consistently generating up to 38 megawatts of power. PGV’s environmentally conscious features include noise-reduction enclosures, a low-profile, small-footprint design, near-zero emissions, 100 percent geothermal fluid reinjection and continual monitoring measures.
➤ PGV’S PLANS FOR EXPANSION The Big Island’s PGV plant has longterm power purchase agreements to continue sending 38 megawatts to Hawaiian Electric Light Company, currently providing the Big Island with more than 20 percent of its energy needs.
➤ HOW PGV GENERATES POWER Puna Geothermal Venture is an advanced binary-cycle system that forges energy by utilizing two aircooled power plants, a combined cycle system and a binary system. First the underground wells are tapped, then hot steam and liquid below the earth’s surface are converted into energy via steam turbine generators. The hot water creates vapor from a working fluid with a low-boiling point, and the resulting vapor drives the turbine to produce electricity. The water is then sent back into the ground to reheat.
➤ BIG ISLAND CALLS FOR GEOTHERMAL DEVELOPMENT Hawaiian Electric Light Company recently chose a geothermal developer through a competitive bid process, but the 25-megawatt project from Ormat Technologies was withdrawn from contract negotiations last February. Though the RFP is now closed, the utility is including geothermal as part of the update to its Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP) and is optimistic that they will find a way for PGV or another vendor to provide geothermal electricity at a price that will be attractive for customers.
RENEWABLE // AUTO // SCIENCE // TRANSPORTATION
| AUTO |
MINDFUL MECHANICS It's all about regular maintenance by Lindsey Kesel
cott Williams wants every Hawai‘i driver to know how easy it is to take care of the ‘aina while taking care of their car. As executive director of Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake & Service Company, he’s helping carry out founder Lex Brodie’s mission to consistently improve and support the community and help protect the environment. While driving an electric or hybrid vehicle is the ideal choice for the environment, the reality is that most island residents own cars and trucks with a lot of life left in them. “Until it’s time to make the switch, we’re on a mission to make sure the gas-powered vehicles on the road are running as efficiently as possible to
minimize the impact on our island,” Williams says. To minimize waste products from regular service, Lex Brodie’s offers full synthetic oil to help engines perform more efficiently and extend oil-change intervals, which reduces oil consumption and disposal. They also recycle batteries and antifreeze locally and donate used tires to build playgrounds or create pavement. “Just by starting now with regular maintenance, your vehicle will last longer, reduce impact on the environment and keep you safer on the road,” Williams says. “It’s amazing how something as simple as a proper wheel alignment can greatly improve gas mileage.”
SCOTT WILLIAMS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LEX BRODIE’S “Just by starting now with regular maintenance, your vehicle will last longer, reduce impact on the environment and keep you safer on the road.” —Scott Williams
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Photos: Lex Brodie
RENEWABLE // AUTO // SCIENCE // TRANSPORTATION
"We tell our clients to look 20 years ahead, not 20 years back, when thinking about the infrastructure of a building.” —George Benda
Photo: Chelsea Group
GEORGE BENDA CHAIRMAN AND CEO CHELSEA GROUP
| SCIENCE |
THE BUILDING RESCUER Creating high-performance buildings by Lindsey Kesel
hy go through the expensive, resource-draining process of new construction when you can transform existing facilities into sustainable, high-performance buildings? That’s the thinking at Chelsea Group, a Honolulu-based building science consulting firm focused on preserving and enhancing the mechanical infrastructure in commercial office, institutional, retail and
industrial facilities. Chairman and CEO George Benda leads a team of problem-solving scientists and engineers who find opportunities to add asset value and eliminate the need to build from scratch. Chelsea Group applies state-of-the-art technologies like highefficiency chillers, fan arrays, advanced control algorithms and innovative dashboard reporting to improve facility
monitoring and control. The team also helps buildings achieve peak performance by completing meticulous energy and operations analysis. Chelsea Group is currently in the middle of a multi-year project to upgrade aspects of The Queen’s Medical Center. “We tell our clients to look 20 years ahead, not 20 years back, when thinking about the infrastructure of a building,” Benda says. “Since the existing infrastructure didn’t necessarily deliver quality or efficiency before, it is extremely unlikely to get better by sticking to the same outdated technology and design application. Today we see more people grasping our mantra and looking into the future.” GREENMAGAZINE HAWAII.COM
| TRANSPORTATION |
Onboard computers, electric motors and regenerative braking are all standard on EVs and hybrids. When it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, sometimes the selling points can whittle down to trunk space, cup holders and back-up cameras. Hop in with us as we test drive the latest EVs and hybrids available in the state in this two-part feature on going green behind the wheel. 34
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Simply put, the Volt is fun to drive, fun to be in and there are plenty of beverage holders in the front and back for coffee or kombucha lovers. —KW
The Chevy Volt has a similar look to other EVs and hybrids—hatchback, nose down, a bit bubbly—but its sleek interior and slick performance has all the trappings of a sports car. It offers quiet, quick acceleration, ultraresponsive steering and incredibly comfy bucket seats, hugging the ground as it whizzes around corners and accelerates effortlessly off the line. The driver’s seat feels like a cockpit with its colorful dashboard displays and center console, but there’s still a conventional gear shifter for the traditionalists out there. You can access a variety of GPS-enabled digital features like direction finder and a charging station map with a subscription to OnStar. The app also lets you turn the air conditioning on and off, send destinations to the navigation system or lock and unlock the car remotely. Best of all, you don’t have to shell out for premium fuel with the 2017 model, which means more cash in your pocket to pimp your ride.
The Volt goes more than 50 miles per hour on all-electric power before switching to gas—perfect for those of us who need to put the petal to metal after getting through the bottlenecks on the H-1 in the morning. —LM PERFORMANCE > 5 UTILITY > 4.5 STYLE > 4 AFFORDABILITY > 3 RAD FACTOR > 3 GREENMAGAZINE HAWAII.COM
NISSAN LEAF America’s best-selling electric vehicle hasn’t changed much visually over the years, but Nissan has upped the ante in the 2017 LEAF when it comes to performance. A three-tiered drive setting lets you control the vehicle’s performance and, in-turn, its range—the brake mode is a major plus for those living in hilly neighborhoods. The LEAF is a fairly heavy car, but its low center of gravity and abundant torque delivers great agility and impressive handling. The mid-sized hatchback’s comfy seats, spacious interior and deep trunk are also solid selling points in terms of functionality.
PERFORMANCE > 4 UTILITY > 4.5
STYLE > 2.5
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AFFORDABILITY > 4 RAD FACTOR > 3.5
The around-view monitor is one of the coolest features of the new LEAF. The display uses four different cameras to give you front, rear and bird’s-eye views of the vehicle while you park, helping you keep an eye on the curb or on those bushes next to the carport. —KW
The LEAF’s brake mode offers an aboveaverage boost in regenerative braking, which is a great fit for Hawai‘i’s stopand-go traffic. —LM
TOYOTA PRIUS v The mid-sized Prius v is one of the larger hybrid vehicles on the market. True to form, this automobile is the hallmark of utility. The Prius v downplays the high-tech computer component of hybrids and EVs and is function forward. While the driver can switch between driving modes, the car takes care of that for you to offer the most efficient ride based on driving conditions. The instrument display is simple and straightforward, and the air conditioner is controlled with a single knob. The new Prius is more spacious than earlier models, and it's still the gold standard for fuel economy, offering a combined 41 city/highway miles per gallon.
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
The roomy rear seats can either recline or fold down, so there’s ample storage for all your stuff, whether it’s groceries from a big Costco run or a couple of surfboards. —KW
PERFORMANCE > 3 UTILITY > 5 STYLE > 3 AFFORDABILITY > 5 RAD FACTOR > 3
With smart-key access and touch-door unlock, it’s easy to get in when your hands are full, and the tight turning radius is a plus for whipping a quick U-turn into a parking spot. —LM
BMW 7-SERIES HYBRID When you slide into a 7-Series hybrid, the only visible indication you’re driving a hybrid is the button to select electric driving mode and a small charging port on the exterior of the vehicle. This luxury plug-in hybrid, more computer than car in the traditional sense, offers an adaptive driving mode that continually changes the dynamics of the drive between the electric motor and gas engine to afford the most efficient and comfortable drive. The buttery smooth ride and indulgently spacious back seat is what you’d expect from a luxury sedan, but the real bang for the big bucks is all the intelligent features. Meet gesture control—wave your hand in front of the computer counsel with specific hand gestures to turn the audio up or down. With a pinch of your fingers, you can digitally see 360 degrees around the car in real time, zooming in and out when necessary.
The side mirrors feature blind-spot warning lights and the car can even back into a parking spot with the push of a button. Welcome to the first wave of driverless driving. —KW
GRE EN M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
PERFORMANCE > 4.5 UTILITY > 3 STYLE > 5 AFFORDABILITY > 2 RAD FACTOR > 5
Photos: BMW Group
The BMW 7-series hybrid is still all about the joy of driving, minus the guilt of driving on gas. â€”LM
REFORESTATION // CONSERVATION
Photo: Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods
JEFF DUNSTER CEO HAWAIIAN LEGACY HARDWOODS
| REFORESTATION |
PLANTING A LEGACY Koa makes a comeback by Lindsey Kesel
eff Dunster and Darrell Fox founded Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, a sustainable forestry company now known as HLH, to replenish koa trees on the Big Island. In doing so, they ended up creating an entire native forest ecosystem on the slopes of Mauna Kea. The partners recently reached their goal of planting 350,000 trees across 1,000 acres and also
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launched the Legacy Carbon program, the first in the world to produce certified carbon credits for the reforestation of koa trees. The HLH team is currently working on improving germination and survival rates for endemic Hawaiian trees. They’ve seen success shortening the germination rate for Hawaiian sandalwood, a rare and
“If you think about it, planting trees is sustainable development in its simplest form. We are just creating innovative ways to let others participate.” —Jeff Dunster
highly valued tree that typically germinates for six to 36 months. “We have had some really dedicated young men and women working on a solution to this problem for some time now and may be on the verge of a breakthrough,” Dunster says. “Early trials have produced germinated seeds in as little as three to five days.” Dunster and Fox recently launched the online store legacyforestgifts.com, which showcases some of Hawai‘i’s most talented artisans. Instead of purchasing original artwork directly from the featured artists, visitors purchase trees to plant at HLH’s forest reserve and receive free artwork for their donation. It’s a win-win for the environment, local artisans and nature lovers around the world.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
WHAT IS “LIVING SOIL” AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO THE HEALTH OF A LANDSCAPE?
FURNITURE, FIXTURES & EQUIPMENT
REMOVAL Ross’ Appliance & Furniture Mokauea St. 841-7336 • Dillingham Blvd. 841-7331 GreenBedCompany.com
There are more organisms in one teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth. Worms, insects and microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and amoeba play an integral role in the health of our soil, environment, oceans, waterways, food and—at the top of the food chain— us. These tiny creatures have lived and flourished in our soil long before humans started excavating, tilling, mining and chemically treating the land, and they are capable of creating a healthy and self-sufficient soil ecosystem all on their own. Just as antibiotics indiscriminately kill good bacteria with the bad, chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, nematicides and antibacterial sprays and powders kill the vital organisms living in our soil. Even chemical fertilizers throw off the soil’s natural balance, decreasing its capacity to achieve and maintain equilibrium. Instead, amend your soil with high-quality compost, compost extract, vermicompost or premixed live soil and look for natural solutions to combat the bad guys instead of killing them off with the good!
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| CONSERVATION |
A concerned community implements a 10-year notake zone at Kaâ€˜u-pu-lehu to stem a devastating decline in fish population BY AJA HANNAH
GRE E N M A G A Z I N E H AWA I I.C O M
Photo: The Nature Conservancy Hawaii
After 17 years of diligent study and outreach by the Ka‘üpülehu Marine Life Advisory Committee (KMLAC) and its partners, a community-based proposal was signed into law by Hawai‘i Governor David Ige last July that designates Ka‘üpülehu a marine reserve for the next decade. The new ruling aims to reverse the rapid decline of marine life in Ka‘üpülehu as a result of unsustainable fishing practices.
Before 1975, Ka‘üpülehu was an area of abundance, with nearshore reefs teeming with marine life, offshore fisheries, fishponds and anchialine pools located within Kekaha. Local families utilized the area for subsistence fishing and recreation. Without paved roads and surrounded by craggy old lava flows, the isolated 3.6 miles of coastline in North Kona were out of the reach of tourists and remained pristine for generations. The completion of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway gave people better access to the shoreline. In 1995, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court established a public beach access, opening the once-secluded shoreline in Ka‘üpülehu to anyone driving down the highway. “In the old days, the ali‘i had konohiki who monitored the land,” says Vern Yamanaka, whose family has been involved in the management of Ka‘üpülehu for more than 50 years. “We don’t have those types of management systems, and it becomes take all you can.” In 1998, a six-year study by the University of Hawai‘i revealed a 41 percent decline in fish abundance and a 26 percent decline in fish diversity. The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i—a technical advisor for KMLAC—followed up the study with a biomass ranking in 2009. Ka‘üpülehu ranked 21st in biomass in the state, which is comparable to management areas in Waikïkï and well below average for West Hawai‘i’s open and protected areas. Comprised of lineal families and community leaders, the Ka‘üpülehu Marine Life Advisory Committee originally formed in 1997 to monitor the dredging being carried out along the shoreline at the time by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But The Nature Conservancy and University of Hawai‘i studies brought to light that declining fish populations on the west side of the Big Island were a direct result of irresponsible fishing practices. GREENMAGAZINE HAWAII.COM
Photo: Kim Moa KUA
Before 1975, Kaâ€˜u-pu-lehu was an area of abundance with nearshore reefs teeming with marine life. After decades of overfishing, fishing and netting has been banned for the next 10 years to allow the ecosystem to recover.
Photo: John De Mello Photo: Christine Shepard
According to The Nature Conservancy, fish species caught for food, such as uhu and maiko, have declined in population by nearly 75 percent in only the last 20 years. Species of fish not targeted for food and medicine declined by only 25 percent. “A habitat level of effect would influence the fish equally versus something that targets individual species of fish,” says Chad Wiggins, marine program manager for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i. “The main thing that would do that is fishing.” Populations of marine species in Ka‘üpülehu have continued to fall for decades. KMLAC member Kekaulike Tomich grew up listening to his mother,
Hannah Springer, tell stories about life in the 1970s in Kukio, a neighborhood within the Ka‘üpülehu boundary. Springer, one of the first members of KMLAC, described conch shells littering the seafloor, lobsters in the tide pools and abundant schools of fish. Tomich, 27, doesn’t remember seeing any conch shells or lobsters in the pools as a kid. They were already gone by that time. However, he said it was easier to catch fish back then because the fish would swim up to him. Today there are noticeably fewer fish, and they flee at the first sign of a human in the water. Tomich hopes that in 10 years, his daughter will be able to eat from the same source he once did. At first, KMLAC tried to implement a voluntary code of conduct, but the effort failed. KMLAC members felt that something more drastic had to be established to protect the area. Group leaders reached out to scientists, fishermen, community members, ‘ohana, naturalresource managers and government officials in search of a solution. Several organizations—Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Fisheries Council, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kona Hawaiian Civic Club, the Department of Land Natural Resources (DLNR), the State Division of Aquatic Resources, the State
Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement—joined the cause or offered their resources. The group held over 350 outreach meetings in the surrounding communities to educate the public on the depleted marine life and unsustainable fishing practices occurring in Ka‘üpülehu. Together, the community evaluated solutions. Yamanaka, who has been with KMLAC since the beginning, said their efforts were met with opposition at first. But the group persevered with its educational campaign and made sincere efforts to consider the pressing concerns of community members. “We knew that we had to have outreach,” Yamanaka says. “We felt it was important for the families, the landowners, the tenants and employees to have an understanding of what was taking place.” The proposed solutions included everything from permanent closure to voluntary bag limits. A one- to two-year closure was ruled out upon evaluating the Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area, a fishery of similar biomass, because some fish, like the yellow tang, can take five to eight years to reach reproductive age. “Our second year surveying the reef flat, we came across a dead white-tipped GREENMAGAZINE HAWAII.COM
reef shark,” Wiggins says. “We had been told there were some guys that had hauled it in the night before, let it suffocate on the land and then threw the carcass back in. To see the impacts of people not respecting this place or its resources indicated that taking this break to refocus everyone was necessary.” It was this moment that Wiggins truly considered the necessity of a complete closure to fishing. Although permanent closure or a partial closure of 20 years would be scientifically ideal, it wasn’t the right solution for the community. “The science was arguing to close it for as long as possible and so were some kupuna,” Wiggins says. “That was off the table for Ka‘üpülehu. They always wanted to make sure that fishing continued there, that there was an ample stock of fish to harvest.” After more than 2,500 hours speaking with local fishermen, the group decided on establishing a 10-year marine reserve with mandatory restrictions on fishing and crabbing. This allows a generation of fish to replenish without human interference, 48
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but still allows the community to stay connected to the area. Decision made, KMLAC embarked on the administrative process of turning the proposal into law. Volunteers and supporters adopted the motto “Try Wait” in an appeal to the community to give Ka‘üpülehu’s marine life the time it needs to recover. Yamanaka concedes that the Try Wait program is difficult, but he knows it’s worthwhile. “We lose a generation,” Yamanaka says. “My grandchild will be 21 when he can come back and fish in this area. But that’s a sacrifice we know we have to make.” Under the new law, a rest period will be enforced along the Ka‘üpülehu coast stretching from the Kalaemanö Visitor Center to Kikaua Point Park. From the shore to 120 feet deep, fishing and netting is banned for 10 years with very limited exceptions. However, everyone is still allowed to enter the water and swim.
Photos: Nature Conservancy Hawaii
Hannah Springer remembers when conch shells littered the seafloor, lobsters lived in tide pools and schools of fish were abundant. Her son, Kekaulike Tomich, volunteers with the KMLAC, working alongside his mother, to protect the degraded coastline.
KMLAC is currently growing its volunteer base in efforts to monitor and report violations of the new law, an effort known as Makai Watch. Volunteers are trained to identify violations and report them to the proper authorities. KMLAC also hopes to establish a comprehensive fisheries management plan to be implemented by DLNR. The plan would combine traditional Hawaiian customs with scientific fishing practices to maintain the resources being restored over the next 10 years. Ideas include incorporating the kapu system to restrict fishing for certain species when they are spawning or low in count. While there is still much to do to secure a sustainable future for Ka‘üpülehu, a dedicated community has stepped forward to meet those challenges head on.
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