Military and civilians clean native Hawaiian fishpond for Earth Day
By Diane Ako
Hawaii (KITV) -- An ancient Hawaiian fishpond gets a little love in honor of Earth Week. About 100 volunteers cleaned up Loko Pa`aiau Fishpond, on McGrew Point military housing.
This fishpond is a historic site that once provided a stable food source for Hawaiian chiefs. It is one of only three fishponds on the base still relatively intact. The ancient sluice gate is still visible, with upgrades made by subsequent residents before it became military housing. An estimated 360 fishponds once existed across the chain of Hawaiian Islands through the late 19th century.
The people cleaning up today came from the Navy and Air Force, Ali`i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, Radford High School JROTC cadets, and Damien High School honor society students. They cleared trash and invasive plants along the shoreline, including mangrove and pickleweed.
Joint Base Commander CAPT Jeff Bernard kicked off the cleanup with a brief welcome. Navy’s Cultural Resource manager Jeff Pantaleo talked about the fishpond and the restoration efforts. Kehaulani Lum, president of the Hawaiian civic club, gave a traditional Hawaiian oli (chant).
The event closes out April’s Earth Month activities, however the base commits to ongoing efforts in preserving and restoring the environment.
Loko Pa`aiau fishpond is a historic site that once provided a stable food source for the Hawaiian chiefs. It is one of only three fishponds on the base still relatively intact.
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