Friday, November 13, 2009

How can you help Hawaii's unique and beautiful natural resources?

Here are a few ideas:

Get outdoors! Try out a new Na Ala Hele trail, visit a forest or spend some time in your neighborhood park. Appreciate what's out there, and spread your enthusiasm to others.

Before and after your hike, make sure to clean your shoes and pant legs. Seeds from invasive plants can stick to the bottoms of your shoes and pants, which can spread to native areas. Help the native forest by keeping it free of weeds!

Plant a tree! For advice about planting the right tree in the right place, visit the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program webpage.

Plant some native vegetation. For a list of native plants, and tips for how and where to plant them, visit pages 6, 7 and 9 of the Backyard Conservation publication distributed this year on Oahu. Did you get your copy in your newspaper? If not, you can utilize this informative online resource right on your computer! While you're browsing through the booklet, learn about xeriscaping, compost, and water conservation.

Keep the environment free of litter. Make sure your trash goes into the trash can, and join beach and park clean-ups. Visit the Keep America Beautiful webpage for a list of community organizations working to keep Hawaii beautiful. If there are no clean-ups in your neighborhood or at your favorite beach, get friends and family together to start one!

Like spending time at the beach? Volunteer with the NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Ocean Count program. Each winter when the humpback whales stop off in the islands during their annual migration, volunteers post up at beaches on Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai to watch for whales, and monitor their behavior. This information is then reported back to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by location team leaders. For more details about dates, locations and registering to help, visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale webpage.

What else can you do to help Hawaii's environment? Leave your ideas in a comment below!

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