HONOLULU – Jul. 22, 2009 - As part of its 80th anniversary celebration this year, Hawaiian Airlines began its partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii this past Saturday, July 18th with 21 employees including president and CEO Mark Dunkerley, volunteering in the removal of invasive plants from the nearly intact native Hawaiian habitat on Waikamoi Bird Loop Trail in Haleakala, Maui.
The volunteers spent most of the day clearing away significant amounts of non-native plants from the wooded area. Invasives have taken a firm foothold in many parts of the state and out-compete native species for the same resources, eventually harming trees, wildlife and water quality.
“Hawaiian Air employees were very enthusiastic workers!” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawaii executive director. “They pulled and cut around 1000 small invasive pines along the trail and outplant sites, and did a thorough job of weeding around our outplant basins. They also added some kukaenene and `akala to the outplant sites. It was a great beginning to our partnership.”
Hawaiian’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii features volunteer support for conservation projects statewide, collaboration on educational programs, and a corporate donation, all to help preserve Hawaii’s unique natural environment.
Hawaiian’s employees will be volunteering their time and energy to work on monthly Nature Conservancy projects that are culturally significant and target native Hawaiian habitats across the state.
Upcoming projects include:
Kona Hema Tree Planting – Hawaii, August 22
Within a South Kona koa forest reserve, Hawaiian’s employees will plant koa trees and other native plants in support of an ongoing restoration project to expand the forest’s biodiversity.
Restoration of Hawaiian Estuary – Oahu, September 26
In Kaneohe Bay, Hawaiian’s employees will assist with restoring a native Hawaiian estuary by planting taro, rebuilding fresh water fishponds, and improving the water flow for the area.
Kanaele Bog Invasive Plant Removal – Kauai, October 24
Hawaiian’s employees will remove invasive plants from Kanaele Bog, a rare, native habitat that is Hawaii’s only bog below 3,000-feet elevation and home to a rich diversity of unique Hawaiian plants, including olapa, hame, alani, lobelia, and the only known individuals of an ‘akoko species.
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.