SER Webinar: Kūkulu Ke Ea A Kanaloa – Restoring the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve

Paul Higashino

Publication Date:

Kaho‘olawe is a single shield volcano located 7 miles southwest of the island of Maui in the Hawaiian archipelago. The island is approximately 11 miles long and 7 miles wide, encompassing roughly 28.000 acres (45 sq.mi.). Kaho‘olawe is a cultural treasure, possessing unique archeological sites that have put the entire island on the National Register of Historic Places. After the arrival of Europeans though, the island underwent a harsh evolution. The island was decimated of its natural dryland forest ecosystem from nearly 200 years of uncontrolled ungulate grazing and 50 years of use by the military for live fire training and bombing exercises.  Although a major clean-up of unexploded ordnance (UXO) was conducted between 1998 and 2003, the island and its surrounding waters are still littered with UXO. Paul Higashino, Restoration Program Manager with the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission, will be discussing the past and present restoration efforts on island, as well as future directions for the work. Paul will share the innovative and unconventional planting methods one must employ when attempting to reforest a former bombing range, where digging into the ground is impossible.  He will also discuss the use of erosion control devices, like gabions and wattles, in areas of hardpan to help slow the flow of water and minimize sedimentation in the nearby marine ecosystems. Paul has a BS in Tropical Agriculture from The University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. Paul has been with the KIRC since 1996 and is the Restoration Manager for the Restoration Program. He is responsible for the biological management for Kahoʻolawe and planning restoration activities on island. This includes planting, erosion control, planting strategies, faunal restoration, and logistics of KIRC personnel and volunteers. Previous work history included working for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, Maui Preserves as Field Naturalist and Assistant Preserves Manager, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Research Division as a Research Associate, and many more.

Resource Type:

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program