News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at: email@example.com.
Protect Kona’s freshwater! KAHEA supports the National Park Services’ petition requesting the state Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) to designate the Keauhou aquifer in Kona as a “ground water management area” (WMA). WMA designation would protect freshwater resources and the rights of communities and Hawaiian practitioners in those resources.
Guest speakers from diverse backgrounds share mana'o at a symposium on deep seabed mining in the Pacific
KAHEA has been a vigilant watchdog of the state's Department of Land and Resources (DLNR). This time, we're calling on you to help this agency get a qualified leader. KAHEA and at least 22 other Hawai`i groups oppose the nomination of Carleton Ching as Director of DLNR.
The project aims to develop policy recommendations for Hawai'i's stakeholders to ensure seabed mining is carefully monitored and to raise public awareness about the impacts of seabed mining on Hawai'i's near shore waters. We intend to bring together Hawaiian cultural practitioners, academics, representatives of U.S. and Hawai'i government agencies, international representatives, and community members to discuss impacts of seabed mining on Hawai'i's oceans and identify specific ways to mitigate those effects.
What is Seabed Mining?
Seabed mining is a mineral retrieval process that takes place on the ocean floor. The ocean floor is "swept" or "plowed." Sediment is collected and pumped into a vessel via a lift system. The sediment is shifted and minerals are extracted. The sediment is then pumped back into the ocean bottom.
What are the Environmental Impacts of Seabed Mining?
Scientists estimate that seabed mining will affect thousands of different species from fish to crustaceans that these impacts will be very long-lasting. The likelihood is high that both the immediate area and other interconnected ecosystems, including Hawai'i's near shore fisheries and coral reef systems, will be affected.
Why is this project important?
Seabed mining has long been seen in the state of Hawai'i as an under-utilized economic driver. As of 2014, at least one company is ready to begin seabed mining off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Closer to Hawai'i, mineral exploitation is active in the Clarion- Clipperton Fracture Zone, an area that begins approximately 500 miles south of Hawaii and runs to Mexico's coast.
Over the past year, KAHEA has heard growing concern from supporters over the prospect of seabed mining in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone and the potential adverse impacts that such operations could have on the seas closer to Hawai'i. Because this area is located in international waters, state and federal governments may not have the tools to regulate and monitor the use of ocean resources in this area. KAHEA, using its model of alliance-building, seeks to foster innovative ways to ensure that the natural resources of the region are preserved and ocean health maintained.
Hawaiian monk seals are on a path toward extinction unless we take steps to protect them. Accordingly, in 2008 KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, and Ocean Conservancy petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to designate the beaches and coastal waters around the main Hawaiian Islands as critical habitat for the seal. The seals can no longer survive in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands alone; they are dying from starvation, and only one of every five pups born there will survive to adulthood. The main islands are also needed for their recovery. With critical habitat designation in the remote and main islands, and implementation of recovery actions, the seals have a chance.
In the last few weeks, we’ve received letters of strong support and strong opposition to the proposed rule on critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal. We hope this blog will open up some safe space for discussion.