Kapapa Moku o Hina

Posted by Keli'i Kotubetey on August 29, 2014

“He kai ʻō heʻe ko Kapapa”  A sea for octopus fishing has Kapapa.

On August 27th the staff, Uncle Gabby Kawelo, and MS Kelly Ratana took a trip out to Kapapa islet in the middle of Kaneʻohe Bay. We obtained the necessary permit from DLNR to conduct educational and restoration activities on the island during the day. The purpose of our trip was to learn more about this wahi pana (and associated plants and animals living on and near it) we so often refer to, explore the ocean around it, do a bit of restoration work, and enjoy a day in the bay as a reward for a summer well spent.

Guided by our fearless leaders, Uncle Gabby Kawelo and Hiʻilei, we got out to Kapapa by 9am and did a bit of education before working. Of note were the ʻuaʻu kani (wedge-tail shearwater) and their fledglings nesting on the island in burrows and among the ironwood. Cute little puff balls! Also very cool were the native plants including ʻihi, kaunaoa, ʻōhelo kai, aweoweo, paʻu o hiʻiaka, and koali. And it was imperative that we also looked at the cultural sites on the island to understand its history and relevance to our people over the centuries.

Our work project lasted for about 1 hour of removing iron wood trees and saplings that have become invasive after being introduced to the island decades ago to make it more hospitable. The challenge was working in areas where the ʻuaʻu kani were not but we made a big dent nevertheless. The iron woods are dramatically altering the coastal island habitat quickly.

Then a light lunch helped fuel us for a few hours of diving around Kapapa and several other papa in the inner portions of the bay including Koʻa Mano. All in all, it was a very educational day learning about the history of Kapapa and getting to know our waters around the fishpond.

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