HONOLULU – Sept. 19, 2009 - More than 60 volunteers from Hawaiian Airlines today teamed up with employees from The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii to take part in a daylong project to help perpetuate the growth of kalo (taro) in He‘eia Wetland.
The work was done in support of The Nature Conservancy’s Mahuahua ‘Ai o Hoi program, which is using traditional Hawaiian irrigation techniques on the 420-acre Windward Oahu property to create sustainable kalo production for cultural, educational, and research purposes.
Two other Windward Oahu groups – Kakoo‘oiwi and the Koolau Poko Hawaiian Civic Club – are also partners in the program.
“We appreciate how Hawaiian’s employees turned out in force today for this project that goes to the very core of the native Hawaiian heritage of working with the land for sustainability of life,” said Suzanne Case, executive director for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.
Along with the planting of kalo, work was done to create inland fishponds for the cultivating of freshwater-tolerant species, such as ‘o‘o pu, ‘ama‘ama, aholehole and awa. Another project involved clearing the area to improve water flow, which has the added benefit of protecting the coral reefs and nearshore fisheries from sediment runoff.
Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian’s senior manager of government and community relations, helped organize today’s volunteer workforce. “The entire experience was very inspiring. The location is hard to reach and the work is physically demanding, but it’s so rewarding knowing that we are perpetuating the growth of kalo and restoring the land to its original use,” said Nakanelua-Richards.
The kalo field restoration at He‘eia Wetland 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) and Hawaii’s Big Island (August), with a project for Kauai planned in October.
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.