HONOLULU – Coast Guardsmen stationed in Oahu assisted with a conservation project in Waimea Valley to expand the habitat of the common Hawaiian moorhen August 3 on the North Shore of Oahu.
The Coast Guardsmen from a communications unit partnered with Waimea Valley conservation specialists in restoring the natural habitat of the common Hawaiian moorhen, known as the `alae `ula, of which there are only approximately 500 left on the islands of Oahu and Kauai.
“Assisting the conservation efforts at Waimea Valley during one of our monthly training days allows us the opportunity as a unit to work together on a project that has real value for the community,” said a Coast Guard volunteer. “We’re helping to build a sustainable environment and simultaneously developing our ability to work together as a team.”
The volunteers assisted by transplanting the native bull rush plants from one of the ponds in the park to an estuary site.
“This is the first time our unit’s done something like this,” said another Coast Guard volunteer. “We truly enjoy giving back to the community. This is our first time doing volunteer work and it definitely won’t be our last.”
The project was done under the oversight of conservationists at Waimea Valley.
“In this specific task today we are working towards accomplishing two of our five goals as identified in our Conservation Action Plan,” said Laurent Pool, a conservation specialist. “The out-planting today will help restore habitat for endangered water birds and also improve conditions for other native aquatic stream species. We’re always happy to have volunteers. We’d love to work with the Coast Guard again. Anytime people volunteer, we help educate them as to what we’re doing and why.”