Arizona State University is dedicating $25 million to build a new facility in Kailua-Kona (on the Big Island) to house 300,000 coral colonies and help restore a 120-mile stretch of coral reef on the western side of the Big Island. The new facility will have the capacity to grow one million coral colonies per year. Scientists from Asner labs created detailed maps of nearshore coral reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands taking pictures with a laser-guided imaging spectroscopy camera to a depth of fifty feet. The study documented vast areas of coral decline and degradation from overfishing and rising ocean temperatures. Hawaii reefs have lost over two-thirds of their reef fish over the past fifteen years.
The state is partnering with a Big Island company to establish a 2.5-acre sandlewood seed orchard as an effort to restore native forests across the island chain. Sandlewood is considered a hemiparasitic plant because it pulls some of its water and nutrients from adjacent “host” trees. Iliahi (sandlewood in Hawaiian) was highly sought after for its fragrant wood and oil and its nuts were an important food source for Hawaiians. The oil was used for waterproofing, to treat skin ailments, and making tools and crafts. The company started with 3,900 sandal wood on another 3,000 acres of land and has grown the nursery to over 150,000 trees. The company, Haloa Aina, has orders for 160,000 seedlings this year.
Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve celebrated its 40th anniversary with a thriving albatross colony. An estimated 30,000 seabirds’ nest in the reserve and ninety-eight albatrosses had nests this year. No seabirds nested in the area 40 years ago when the reserve was created, and the number of nests returned as vegetation returned. The area is the only protected place in the world where the public can walk un-escorted on a trail next to nesting albatrosses.
Honolulu entrepreneur and fellow Hawaii tennis player, Tom Park, and his partner, Justin Park (unrelated), visited Chicago to collect the James Beard award for Outstanding Bar in early June. The Parks started the bar, Bar Leather Apron, seven years ago in Downtown Honolulu. The 25-seat bar serves custom cocktails and has an extensive collection of fine whiskeys. The website is provided below.