Waimānalo Limu Hui
Restore Limu, Restore Pāhonu, Restore Community
Core Elements: Limu Restoration, Pāhonu Restoration & Reef Monitoring
In early 2017 the Waimānalo Pono Research Hui was asked what three topics they’d like to concentrate on for the current year. They were `Ai Pono, Kalo and Limu. The hui chose limu because one of the kupuna, Luana Albinio, wanted to see limu growing as abundnadant as it was in her youth during the 50’s where she remembers playing on the beach with limu wigs.
Ilima Ho-Latimosa recalled speaking with limu expert, Wally Ito at a recent KUA event earlier that year when she mentioned to him that Waimānalo was ready to do limu. She immediately gave him a call to set up a meeting between the community and Wally.
In preparation for the meetup, the group drafted a project scope document in early October and emailed it to Wally for his review. Communities and groups come to Wally all the time excited to start a limu restoration project in their own community and his typical resonse is “if you can’t make the commitment, then don’t bother,” But after reading Waimānalo’s project scope, he deicded to take the meeting. At the meeting he brought fellow Ewa Limu Project pioneers, Pam and Dennis Fujii. With the blessing of the three, they decided to take Waimānalo under their wing and move forward with the project.
On November 10, 2017 the Waimānalo Limu Hui (WLH) was formed and held their first limu planting. Since then, they’ve hosted monthly limu plantings for all but one month due to severe weather. Using cordage made form the hala root, voulenteers weave limu lei that are tied to small rocks that are then planted within the bay. As the lei sways in the ocean, it’s spores get broadcasted into the current to land on rocks and reef making their new homes.
As rocks were planted along the rock wall of the Pāhonu turtle enclosure the group decided it was their responsibility to restore the native landmark. In July of 2018, the limu hui co-hosted KUA’s E Alu Pū conference where the work began to bring life back to the area.
The quarterly pond restoration happens every January, April, July and October. The event has been known to draw 300+ visitors and locals alike. The groups goal is to rebuild the two ponds back to it’s once majestic state.
Pāhonu (Turtle Enclosure) is the only know recorded turtle enclosure as opposed to every other fish pond throughout the state. It was commissioned by then Ali’i Kuikui or Kukui who loved to eat the turtles succulent meat. Turtle was kapu for everyone but the Ali’i. The pond was used to rear turtles that were easily caught to meet the Ali’i’s taste. Many hawaiian green sea turtles can still be seen frequenting the area.
In the near future, we’re planning to launch our Reef Monitoring Program to be able to track how well the limu that’s being out planted is doing through out the seasonal changes. It’ll have some scientific elements as well as traditional elements of kilo and malama.
We plan to track all types of limu out planted and the local marine ecosystem and all her parts. The data will be kept within the community to better manage our resources.
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Watch as our `opio take the lead in highlighting what we do and what the project means to the community.
Check out the HUI as they boogie down with fellow hui member Dr. Kiana Frank