Ho‘ōla i ka Loko I‘a o Waia‘ōpae Restoring Life to Waia‘ōpae Fishpond
May 18-19, 2018

Tide is amazing and the Hui Mālama Loko I’a ohana did amazing work with our Lāna’i ‘ohana today. Tomorrow will have a similar low tide and open community work day. Join us tomorrow, May 19th from 7a on to help restore Waia’ōpae Loko.

On May 17-20th, Waiaʻōpae loko iʻa hosted about 70 fishpond practitioners from across Hawai‘i for the annual Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa gathering. Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa is a collective of fishpond practitioners whose goal is to promote ‘āina momona (fertile, healthy land) through loko iʻa culture. On May 18th and 19th (Friday and Saturday) work on the kuapā will be conducted in the mornings during low tide. On Saturday in particular, we held a large community stewardship day for community members can get the chance to learn from fishpond experts. This gathering was a great opportunity for our community to gain valuable ʻike (knowledge) about how to care for our rich cultural and natural resources. It is the time for all of us, as a community, to hana ka lima (work with the hands) and create a better, more sustainable future for Lānaʻi.






 

Waiaʻōpae loko lies on the east side of Lānaʻi and is one of four or five loko i‘a (fishponds) known to have been built on island in ancient times.. Approximately 9 acres in size, Waiaʻōpae once served as a sustainable food source for native Hawaiians on Lāna‘i. The Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center (Lānaʻi CHC) envisions Waiaʻōpae being able to provide food for our community once again. Along with support from Pūlama Lānaʻi, NOAA B-WET, and the Hawaii Community Foundation, Lānaʻi CHC has been conducting restoration on the fishpond and providing educational outreach at the site since 2015.

About 200 feet of the kuapā (fishpond wall) have been rebuilt, and we hope to complete another 150 linear feet in the next year and a half. Shoreline restoration work, which includes thinning the invasive kiawe trees and reintroducing native coastal plants into the area, has been ongoing. Over the past few years, hundreds of community members, visitors, and students have aided in restoration efforts and have learned about loko iʻa and their role in a healthy ahupuaʻa (traditional land division) system. Waiaʻōpae serves as a reminder of Lānaʻi’s rich cultural history and the innovation of native residents. Continued restoration of the loko iʻa promotes Lānaʻi CHC’s vision to honor the past and enrich the future.

Tide is amazing and the Hui Mālama Loko I’a ohana did amazing work with our Lāna’i ‘ohana today. Tomorrow will have a similar low tide and open community work day. Join us tomorrow, May 19th from 7a on to help restore Waia’ōpae Loko.

Photo – Kepā Maly, May 18, 2018.

Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa and Lānaʻi ʻohana on break for lunch after a morning of work restoring the kuapā of Waiaʻōpae Loko. Camp set up by Pūlama Lānaʻi Culture & Historic Preservation and Natural Resource Management crew, with help of Uncle Albert Halape Morita, Simon Tajiri, Jonathan Preza, food prepared by Pam Pilialoha Alconcel and ʻohana, Glenn and Kelton Taniguchi and many other helping hands...Program sponsored by NOAA-BET and Hawai’i Community Foundation grants with KUA, Pūlama Lāna’i and the Lāna’i Culture & Heritage Center. “Hana ka lima, ‘ai ka waha!”
Photo – Kepā Maly, May 18, 2018.