David Y. Igé | DLNR PRESS RELEASE: Amala Place Cleanup
DLNR PRESS RELEASE: Amala Place Cleanup
Posted on Sep 23, 2021 in Latest News, Press Room
(KAHULUI) – Rusty fence around KanahÄ Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Maui is set to be replaced with a predator-proof fence, with Governor Ige unblocking initial funding for the project on Wednesday . The bird sanctuary, surrounded by urban and industrial development, has also been at the center of the mass clean-up of garbage, vehicles and camps in adjacent Amala Square this week.
âTo be honest KanahÄ Pond must have grown on top of me. At first I just thought it was a hot, muddy, swampy place, âjoked Sasha Smith, the forestry and wildlife technician with the DLNR Forestry and Wildlife Division (DOFAW) who has been monitoring the sanctuary for a decade. . âI discovered a side of the pond that most people don’t see. There are a lot of misconceptions, âshe added.
Some examples. Many Maui residents born and raised walk by the pond every day and either don’t notice or know nothing about it. The pond is supplied with fresh water and was prehistorically a true wetland, which is now heavily modified but still functions as a wetland. It now acts as a flood control basin as well as a wildlife sanctuary.
Smith, other DOFAW and DLNR Land Division personnel, as well as a contractor, participated in the cleanup operations on the makai side of KanahÄ this week. On Tuesday, agents from DLNR’s Conservation and Resource Enforcement Division (DOCARE) evacuated the remaining people who had set up long-term camps in the naupaka next to the beach.
On Wednesday, the DOFAW team were back, cutting down brush and non-native plants. âI have a fondness for native plants,â says Smith, âand DOFAW and volunteers have slowly restored native coastal species. “We are doing a lot of work to create native habitat for birds.” KanahÄ Pond offers protection to Hawaiian waterbirds, many of which are endangered, as well as migratory bird species. The most common of the native species is the Hawaiian stilt – birds that stand in water, sometimes on a very thin leg. Hawaiian coots, coloa ducks, night herons (‘auku’u) and nÄnÄ also frequently roost and feed in the pond.
When the wildlife reserve is open, usually from September to April, many visitors are also fascinated by the multitude of bunkers dating back to World War II. Yesterday, a trio of nÄnÄ were seen on top of one of the crumbling bunkers, cooing and looking at the pond. Smith says the birds are a breeding pair and last year’s offspring, just to check things out.
The governor’s release on Wednesday of $ 300,000 at the cost of $ 1.3 million of a predator-proof fence brings the project closer to the expected completion of August 2022.
Smith commented, âWe’re about to have the fence built. The permanent encampments on Amala Place made it impossible for the project to continue, but thanks to the division working diligently to find federal grants, along with state funding, we are close.
The fence will be constructed with rust resistant materials and will prevent deer, cats, dogs, mongooses, mice and rats from entering the sanctuary, damaging vegetation and attacking birds. Smith hopes that once the fence is erected and other restoration work is completed, more people in Maui and across the state will regard KanahÄ Pond as the treasure that it is … one of the largest and most safe havens. important to wildlife in Hawai’i.
# # #