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BCH and JASH volunteer with Mālama Maunalua

On a sunny Saturday morning, BCH and JASH members volunteered with the nonprofit organization Mālama Maunalua to remove invasive algae from the nearshore reef of Pāiko beach. Within Maunalua bay exists the 28+ acres of Pāiko beach that is actively worked on by thousands of volunteers every year. Some problems caused by invasive alien algae (IAA) are overcrowding of the area (less room for native species) and holding onto sediment (which makes the reef water murky and lowers oxygen content). This can cause a loss of biodiversity for native algae and other marine organisms. 

The day started at 9:00 am with a short briefing from Mālama Maunalua and a 15 minute walk to the work site. For the next 2 hours, with volunteers from other organizations and high schools, we focused on removing IAA from a 10 by 10 meter square. The goal was to remove invasive algae (Gorilla Ogo, Leather Mudweed, and Prickly Seaweed) in the area so native algae (Green Bubble Algae, Halimeda, and more) could repopulate. This way, the reef could be cleared of IAA square by square. 

Algae wasn’t the only thing we saw. Marine sponges, worms, and crabs were among the other things seen while picking algae. The worms especially gave a fright to some BCH members. 

Overall, it was an exciting day of working together. Unfortunately, the event came to an end too quickly. Everyone was so immersed in working that two hours seemed like one. As we walked back to shore with dozens of bags of algae, we had a sense of pride knowing that the bay was healthier through our collective action. 

A core belief of the Native Hawaiians is that people must mālama (care for) the ʻĀina (land) so the ʻĀina will mālama the people. Today, we were able to do our part in taking care of the land which we call home.


*Will upload photos to BCHʻs facebook, theyʻre too large to attach here

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