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by Rachel LentzOften, coping with natural hazard preparation involves being aware of key information pertinent to that event. But sometimes that information may be hard to find or understand. Here are four resources that should prove useful to your own personal awareness and preparation as well as the preparation of your community. NOAA NWS National and Central Pacific Hurricane Center During the Central North Pacific hurricane season from June 1st to November 30th, the National Weather Service’s National and Central Pacific Hurricane Centers website presents a variety of resources for the Central and Eastern Pacific regions, as well as the
by Mara Johnson-GrohSince the day it was born out of the Pacific, 65 million years ago, Hawaiʻi has been sculpted by storms, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. In the 21st century Hawai‘i is facing an increasing frequency of disasters as climate change exacerbates weather patterns and raises the sea level. Over the past few decades, the sea level has already risen by several inches and even if carbon emissions remain the same, conservative estimates suggest a further 3.2 feet of rise by later this century. A 2017 report, the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, found
by Josh McDanielThe science of tsunamis has expanded in leaps in recent decades. From advances in detection and alert systems to coastal inundation modeling and mapping, we now know more about the seismic forces that trigger tsunamis and can forecast how tsunamis will flood distant coastlines hours before the waves arrive. However, successful preparation for a tsunami still occurs at the community level, preparing infrastructure for the unique destructive forces that occur and educating people on how to react and get to safety. While there have been several tragic tsunamis in the recent past across the globe, we are learning
To support Hawai'i's 100% renewable energy goal by 2045, Hawai'i Sea Grant faculty, their colleagues, and seven student researchers just published a paper to show how house design and construction practices can be modified to meet the newly adopted, more restrictive energy codes and renewable energy goals. The research was conducted through the University of Hawaii, School of Architecture – archawaii and University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program The paper is accessible for free online: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-5309/10/7/120
by Natasha VizcarraDays before Hurricane Iniki slammed into the island of Kauaʻi in 1992, condominium and apartment managers went door-to-door to make sure their residents were preparing for the storm. Hours before the storm struck, motorists honked their horns in places where warning sirens could not be heard. Iniki soon churned over Hawaiʻi with winds of up to 145 miles per hour and gusts of up to 225. By the time it dissipated, six people were dead, thousands of homes were in shambles, and most of Kauaʻi was without power. Iniki was the costliest hurricane to strike Hawaiʻi, causing $3.1
by Sara LaJeunesseOn April 30, 2018, the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone of the Kīlauea volcano collapsed, triggering an eruption that would last for four months. Over that time, as lava drained for miles underground, long fissures ripped through the Earth’s surface, spewing lava at up to 26,000 gallons per second. Earthquakes—up to 6.9 in magnitude—rocked the ground, and dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide gas filled the air. By the end of the eruption, 716 homes were destroyed, and some 3,000 residents were displaced. The lava caused an estimated $236.5 million in damages to public infrastructure, $27.9 million in farm losses, and
by Jake BuehlerThe afternoon before the flooding, you would have been hard-pressed to find any reason to suspect it was coming. It was an idyllic, mid-April day in Hanalei, Kauaʻi, after all: 79 degrees, a mix of sun and clouds, and with a steady, beach-cooling wind out of the northeast. Over the next 48 hours, though, a truly staggering quantity of water would pummel the northern reaches of the island. The subsequent flooding—the result of meteorological quirks converging with maximal potency—precipitated destruction. Yet, the disaster and recovery has precipitated something else in turn: a response from community that lends a
by Lurline Wailana McGregorOn June first every year, the Central Pacific hurricane season officially begins. In anticipation of the heightened threat that it brings to the Hawaiian Islands, government preparedness offices take the opportunity to remind all residents to have an emergency kit that includes at least fourteen days of food, water, medication, and other essential supplies. In the past, the likelihood of a hurricane making a direct hit on the Hawaiian Islands was rare, but climate change and the northward shift of hurricanes towards the islands have increased the chance of landfall. Other natural disasters can befall our islands,
by Keri Kodama There lived three ‘Io brothers on the island of Hawai‘i. They had just left their nests and were on their way to make their living in the world. Each had bought his own house on the mountainside. One day, on their way home, they came to a big cluster of animals gathered around a single panicked rat. “A monster is coming! A monster is coming!” the rat cried, waving his arms around madly. The ‘Io brothers looked at each other. The third brother, who was the smartest and most responsible of the three said, “What are you
by Miwa TamanahaLimu is food, first and foremost, for fish, forming part of the foundation of a complex trophic web that spans from plankton to people. Limu is also food for people, probably most commonly brought to mind as an essential ingredient in our lunchtime poke bowls. Limu has extensive uses in all manner of foods, both Hawaiian and the many other ethnic types represented in our communities, and at events from baby parties to New Year celebrations. Pickled, salted, dried, raw, chopped, fried, boiled, no matter the form, limu for eating is a gift shared among friends and family
by Lurline Wailana McGregor“When I was growing up, if you went to a lūʻau, you would know who prepared the food and what area it came from by just knowing the taste of the limu and the kinds of limu that were utilized. Basically, you could tell where the families came from by the raw stuff they made,” says Malia Akutagawa, who was raised on the east end of Molokaʻi. Now 48 years old and an assistant professor of law and Hawaiian Studies with both the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and the Kamakakūokalani
by Paula MoehlenkampWhile the diversity and beauty of plants on land are easily seen by us, we may often overlook their aquatic counterparts hidden beneath the sea. Algae, photosynthetic plants ranging from microscopic phytoplankton to larger seaweeds, live in fresh and seawater and fulfill a variety of important functions, including the production of oxygen and the provision of habitat and food. Although limu, various species of seaweed native to Hawai‘i, are an integral part of the environment, the rapid spread of invasive algae over recent decades has raised concern for the future health of limu and their ecosystems. Originally, multiple
by Dr. Celia Smith, Bill Thomas, Kawika Winter, and Mazie K. Hirono, U.S. SenatorI first met Dr. Isabella Abbott as she emerged from nearly 30 years at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, as its first woman, and first minority, full professor in the Department of Biology. The year was 1976, and Dr. Abbott was already a force of nature. As a visiting professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Botany Department, and later as the G. P. Wilder Professor, the Botany Department’s endowed chair, Dr. Abbott had returned to her alma mater to teach the stories of her
by Josh McDanielUncle Wally Ito is passionate about limu, or seaweed. He says limu has always been an integral part of Hawaiian culture, with uses in food, medicine, and religious ceremonies. In a traditional Hawaiian diet, limu was the third component of a nutritionally balanced diet along with fish and poi, providing an important source of minerals and vitamins. Limu, such as wawae‘iole (Codium edule), manauea (Gracilaria coronopifolia), ele‘ele (Ulva prolifera), kohu (Asparagopsis taxiformis), and līpoa (Dictyopteris plagiogramma), are still a common ingredient in many Hawaiian dishes, adding flavor and spice to poke and stews. “At one time there were
Through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Coastal Resilience Grant, the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program together with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Planning, and Tetra Tech, Inc., developed statewide guidance documents and tools to improve community resilience to coastal hazards and sea level rise. These guidance documents and tools support implementation of the recommendations of the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (Hawai'i Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Commission 2017) especially to integrate sea level rise adaptation plans and policies into state, county and community plansand to develop
by Cary DeringerHawai‘i, an ocean-bound state, is just beginning to discover the myriad ways the sea can counteract increasing energy demands, dwindling fresh water supplies, and worsening food shortages. To see for yourself, visit Keāhole Point on the west coast of the Big Island just south of the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport. There you will discover the Hawai‘i Ocean Science and Technology (HOST) Park administered by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), where about 80 percent of the state’s aquaculture and marine products are generated using ingenious ocean-based technologies. Originally founded in 1974 to provide a support
by Helen RaineWe take the humble toilet for granted, rarely stopping to think about where all that waste goes. But in Hawai‘i, the reality for thousands of residents is that the plumbing leads straight to a big hole in the ground. There are approximately 88,000 aging cesspools across the state, and some of that untreated waste is making its way into our streams, oceans, and drinking water, leading to illness for swimmers, paddlers, and surfers, as well as stressing our coral reefs and native fauna. Change is on the horizon, however; some innovative new solutions have reached the testing stage
by Jackie DudockFrom Denver to Honolulu In 1981, inspired by a passion for water conservation and public education, a special task force of the Denver Water Department, Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, and Colorado State University kicked-off what became a national water-efficient landscaping movement. From this partnership, the term “xeriscape” was coined and began to be used to describe techniques that, when implemented cooperatively, significantly reduce landscape and garden water use. Xeriscape: from the Greek “xeros,” meaning dry, and “scape” meaning the pattern of the landscape. By 1982, the nation’s first public xeriscape demonstration garden and education program were in
by Lurline Wailana McGregorStacy Sproat-Beck was raised in Kalihiwai, a small village between Kilauea and Hanalei on the North Shore of Kauaʻi. “It was an idyllic childhood of hukilau, farming, roaming the mountains, and swimming in the stream in what is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Sproat-Beck recalls fondly. That may be one of the reasons she lives down the road from where she grew up and works nearby as the executive director of the Waipā Foundation, doing the kind of work she has known all her life. After the Kilauea Sugar Plantation on the
by Josh McDanielThe 29 atolls and five low islands of the Republic of the Marshall Islands are distinctive in both their remoteness in the central-western Pacific and the seeming precariousness of the impossibly tiny slivers of land that make up the island nation. Located about halfway between Hawaiʻi and Australia, the entire combined landmass of the Marshall Islands is about the same size as Washington D.C., or the Hawaiian island of Niʻihau, spread across an expanse of ocean the size of Mexico. About half of the total population of 53,000 lives in the capital city on Majuro Atoll, a ribbon
by Natasha VizcarraIn the ʻŌlaʻa rainforest of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, mist hangs in the air. Bright red blooms of ʻhiʻa trees mix in the canopy with ʻlapa trees that shimmer in the breeze. Underneath, towering fronds of the hāpu‘u fern shelter a forest floor slippery with mud. Moisture-loving plants like moss and ferns cover almost every tree surface, from downed logs to upright trunks and spreading branches. And on the forest floor lies wet leaf litter, with more wet fern, wet moss, and rare plants such as the Honohono Hawai‘i jewel orchid. The ʻŌlaʻa Forest Reserve sits on the
This report provides an update to a 2008 report on the value of Waikīkī Beach using 2016 economic and visitor arrival data. Hospitality Advisor’s 20081 report concludes that just under $2 billion (2007 U.S. dollars) in overall visitor expenditures could be lost annually due to a complete erosion of Waikīkī Beach. The 2008 report investigated the economic impact of the erosion of Waikīkī Beach through visitor surveys and analysis of data provided by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Smith Travel Research. This report updates the economic impact estimates with the most recent
by Ilima Loomis Richard Pyle recalls joining John “Jack” Randall on a diving expedition in Palau in 1985. Wanting to impress the legendary ichthyologist by discovering a new species of fish, the 18-year-old Pyle scoured the reef for unusual specimens. “Unfortunately, every time I came up with something I had never seen before, Jack not only knew exactly what it was, but shared with me an engaging anecdote about how it was first discovered — in almost all cases by Jack himself!” he wrote in a letter nominating Randall for the International Society of Reef Studies Darwin Medal, which Randall
Huli ‘ia is an observational process documenting seasonal changes and shifts across entire landscapes, ma uka to ma kai (from the mountains to the ocean). Developed by Na Maka o Papahānaumokuākea, the Huli ‘ia process documents these natural changes over time, identifies dominant cycles of important species or natural occurrences (e.g. flowering, fruiting, presence/absence of flora/fauna, cloud formations, spawning or recruiting of fish species, etc.), and assists in identifying any correlations between species and occurrences. Those correlations help to identify the occurrence of a less visible situation (e.g. fish spawning) when a more obvious one happens (e.g. a flower species
Across the Hawaiian Islands vulnerability to coastal hazards is increasing with climate change and sea level rise and as development along our shorelines continues to expand. Access to high-resolution local hazard exposure and vulnerability data and maps is critical for communities to understand and plan for increased coastal flooding and erosion with sea level rise. The Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Viewer serves as an online interactive atlas accompanying the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, completed in December 2017. The Report and map data in the Viewer incorporates the best-available science on sea level rise and potential impacts.
Hawai‘i’s coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to impacts from hurricanes, tsunamis, and other coastal disaster events due to the state’s isolated location in the Pacific and development concentrated along low-lying shores. Impacts from infrequent coastal disaster events will become more severe with climate change and sea level rise. Human impacts to coastal environments that act as natural barriers including beaches and reefs also makes our communities more vulnerable to impacts from storms and high waves. The ability to build back safer, stronger, smarter, and faster after a damaging disaster while considering potential impacts to natural and cultural resources is a
Over the past decade, Hawai‘i has progressed in recognizing and addressing coastal hazards and the need for adaptation to sea level rise. However, more work still needs to be done to translate broad-scale guidelines and scientific information into action at the local level. This project focuses on developing practical guidelines for incorporating resilience to coastal hazards and sea level rise into county general plans and community plans. In the context of this project, resilience is a community’s ability to adapt and thrive in the face of increasing coastal hazards, climate change impacts, and sea level rise through proactive planning utilizing
Water Resource Sustainability is dedicated to conducting research on water resources-related issues in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands and facilitating access to interdisciplinary expertise within the university to enhance understanding of water issues. The use of data and science based evidence informs management and policy decision-making on water quality, quantity, wastewater management, and infrastructure best practices.
This report provides an update to a 2008 report on the value of Waikīkī Beach using 2016 economic and visitor arrival data. Hospitality Advisor’s 2008 report concludes that just under $2 billion (2007 U.S. dollars) in overall visitor expenditures could be lost annually due to a complete erosion of Waikīkī Beach. The 2008 report investigated the economic impact of the erosion of Waikīkī Beach through visitor surveys and analysis of data provided by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Smith Travel Research. This report updates the economic impact estimates with the most recent
The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program prepared this climate change impacts report to provide Hawai‘i communities with a foundational understanding of the effects of global climate change on Hawai‘i’s resources and ecosystems. The report presents a summary of the current state of scientific knowledge regarding climate change and how it is expected to affect Hawai‘i, including marine, coastal, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems, built systems, and human health so that Hawai‘i can be better prepared for the changes to come.