HONOLULU – Oct. 24, 2009 - Volunteers from Hawaiian Airlines today joined The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii in a project to help protect Kanaele Bog on Kauai by removing invasive plant species that are posing a threat to the area’s native plants and animals.
Located above Kalaheo, Kanaele Bog is a Nature Conservancy preserve and Hawaii’s only bog below the 3,000-foot elevation level. It is home to a rich diversity of unique Hawaiian plants, including olapa, hame, alani, lobelia, and the only known individuals of an ‘akoko species.
“This type of work is demanding, but it’s vital to preserving the future of Kanaele Bog and we are sincerely grateful to Hawaiian Airlines and its employees for giving so much of their time and effort to make such a positive impact for Kauai’s environment,” said Suzanne Case, executive director for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, and one of the workers taking part today.
The project involved a rugged two-hour hike to reach the work site at Kanaele, followed by several hours of removing various types of invasive weeds that have infiltrated the bog. More than 20 people took part in the work project, including Hawaiian Airlines employees from Kauai and Oahu.
“For us, it’s gratifying to know we are helping to preserve this rare habitat and protecting the native plants of Kauai,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian’s senior manager of government and community relations, and an organizer of today’s volunteer workforce.
The Nature Conservancy’s Kanaele Preserve is part of the Kauai Watershed Alliance, a public-private partnership of landowners with a long-term commitment to protect Kauai’s watersheds. Along with being essential for drinking water and agricultural purposes, a healthy watershed also helps prevent soil run-off and erosion, which, in turn, helps protect and preserve lowland areas and coral reefs
Today’s project is a result of the partnership between Hawaiian and The Nature Conservancy to help celebrate the airline’s 80th anniversary this year. Restoration projects supporting native Hawaiian habitats have also been conducted on Maui (July), Hawaii’s Big Island (August), and Oahu (September).
Additionally, Hawaiian is promoting The Nature Conservancy’s message of environmental conservation through its inflight video program and other communication channels, and has provided a $10,000 gift in support of its educational outreach programs.
About The Nature Conservancy
Since 1980, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii has been conserving and managing native habitats and ecosystems in Hawaii. The Conservancy has helped protect 200,000 acres of natural lands in the islands and established a statewide system of 11 preserves totaling almost 40,000 acres. Today, the Conservancy is taking conservation to a new level in Hawaii by working through partnerships to protect the larger landscapes of which these preserves are a part. The Conservancy has also extended its work from the forests to the reefs and is engaged in
marine conservation in the near shore waters of the main Hawaiian Islands.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2008 in the 19th annual Airline Quality Rating study. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past five years (2004-2008) and has been an industry leader in fewest misplaced bags during that same period (#1 from 2005-2007, #2 in 2008) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé
Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii. Hawaiian will mark 80 years of continuous service for Hawaii on November 11, 2009. Hawaiian is the state’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state’s primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides more than 160 daily jet flights within the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.