When I first visited the fishpond in Heeia years ago, I couldn’t believe the work ahead.
The hundreds-years-old fishpond located in Kaneohe was overgrown with mangrove, an introduced plant whose roots grow into the wall and loosen the rocks and corals. Invasive algae — particularly gracilaria salicornia (gorilla ogo) was growing rampant in the pond.
This wasn’t good.
But the nonprofit Paepae O Heeia has made huge progress in the restoration of the 88-acre fishpond. Much of the mangrove is now cut back and the wall is more than halfway completed. (The moi, though, died due to a spike in the water temperature.)
It was utterly impressive.
But ask anyone who works there and they’ll credit the help of volunteers. Many hands working together. That’s power.
Here’s what a recent work day with the staff looked like:
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Interested in helping out? Come down on Saturday, March 26 to participate in a community work day, held twice a month. Volunteers are needed from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (lunch is included) to remove mangrove and rebuild the seawall. Call (808) 236-6178 to make reservations or for more information.