Community Support to Protect Alakoko (Menehune) Fishpond
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*NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT DONATE ON THIS SITE. Change.org asks you to chip in to promote the petition. DONATIONS DO NOT go to Alakoko or the organizations involved, but directly to Change.org. To stay posted on our future grassroots fundraising, please stay in touch with Mālama Hulē‘ia and The Trust for Public Land directly.*
Alakoko Loko I'a (also known as Menehune Fishpond) is located in Līhuʻe, Kaua‘i, in the ahupua‘a of Niumalu and Ha‘ikū. This 600 year old fishpond is famous in Hawaiian legend and beloved by the Kaua‘i community.
We support Mālama Hulē‘ia (MH) and The Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) efforts to help our Kaua‘i community purchase and protect Alakoko Fishpond (Menehune Fishpond) as an outdoor classroom, a working fishpond, wetland habitat, and one of the most cherished pieces of Kaua‘i’s history.
Alakoko Fishpond has been listed for sale. The Trust for Public Land is facilitating a potential conservation purchase, and partnering with Mālama Hulē‘ia, as the proposed future owner and steward. TPL and MH are currently seeking public funding for the potential conservation acquisition from the County of Kaua'i’s Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund, the State of Hawaiʻi’s Legacy Land Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Grant, as well as other public and private funding sources.
Know that MH & TPL are not asking for donations for the conservation purchase at this time. For now, the best way our community can help protect the fishpond is to show their support by signing this petition. MH & TPL appreciate and reciprocate everyone’s love and support of Alakoko Fishpond, and will update the community when grassroots fundraising is needed. MAHALO!
We strongly support Mālama Hulē‘ia and The Trust for Public Land's initiative to raise public and private funding for the conservation purchase, to forever protect Alakoko Fishpond for future generations because:
- Alakoko Fishpond is a cultural treasure and source of community pride. It has a 2,700-foot long kuapā (fishpond wall) and is said to have been built overnight by Menehune, mythical master craftspeople who built fishponds, heiau (temples), and aqueducts.
- Native Hawaiian fishpond systems are some of Hawai‘i’s most significant cultural resources. They are a testament to Hawaiian innovation in engineering, hydrology, aquaculture and biology. Fishponds demonstrate Native Hawaiian ingenuity in sustainability, food sovereignty and natural resource management.
- There were once over 400 fishponds across Hawai‘i and at least 50 on the island of Kaua‘i alone. But development and invasive mangrove led to the filling and destruction of fishponds.
- Protecting Alakoko Fishpond preserves sustainable aquaculture for food production. In the long term, Alakoko has the potential to be fully restored as a working fishpond to grow and harvest fish and seafood to feed the community and increase Kaua‘i’s food security.
- The Fishpond will provide Mālama Hulē‘ia with a home base to enable the restoration of the native wetland ecosystem and the Hulē‘ia River Watershed.
- Community stewardship will improve water quality in the Nāwiliwili Bay Watershed.
- Protecting the pond will conserve native habitat for fish, limu (seaweed), water birds, and coastal vegetation.
- Alakoko Fishpond is adjacent to the Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge and is home to endangered Hawaiian water birds including koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), and nēnē (Hawaiian goose).
- Alakoko is a habitat and nursery for spawning and juvenile fish, prawns, and crabs that enhance Nāwiliwili Bay’s larger fishery.
- Alakoko Fishpond will continue to serve as an outdoor classroom where students and the public can learn the science, history, and culture of traditional Hawaiian aquaculture.
Mālama Hulē‘ia’s mission is to advocate, educate, and lead community efforts to remove mangrove along the Hulē‘ia River, restore native wetland ecosystems, and create an environmental stewardship program honoring Hawaiian values. Thanks to their dedicated work and hundreds of volunteers, for the first time in over half a century, Alakoko Fishpond is clear of mangrove and the kuapā (fishpond wall) is now visible.
The Trust for Public Land’s mission is to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy livable communities for generations to come. TPL empowers local communities, nonprofits, and public agencies to acquire and protect land that they have kuleana for. They’ve been working in Hawai’i for over 42 years and have worked in partnership with communities to protect 43 special places and over 56,000 acres throughout the islands. TPL's Aloha ʻĀina Program protects lands that perpetuate Hawaiian culture, and TPL's Sustainable Hawai‘i Program protects lands that support our self-sufficiency and food security.
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