Erosion prevention projects completed

Members of the East and West Kauai Soil and Water Conservation Districts and others have completed demonstration projects that showed farmers how to control erosion.

The projects focused on how farmers can protect themselves against erosion caused by runoff from agricultural roads and faulty irrigation systems.

By doing, farmers will be in a better position to make their farming operations a success, allowing them to pass savings onto consumers of their products, according to Ted Inouye, chairman of the East Kauai Soil. Peter Towsend is the chairman of the West Kauai Soil.

Both conservation districts on Kaua‘i collaborated with Grove Farm Co. and the Kauai Coffee Company in taking on the projects, which started in 2001 and ended this June.

The various projects will help reduce “nonpoint source pollution” in the Hanapepe and Nawiliwili watersheds and in east and west Kaua‘i, according to East and West Kauai soil representatives.

The various projects were conducted on Grove Farm Company lands by the Halfway Bridge in Kipu and on Kauai Coffee Company land by Port Allen.

The projects were implemented with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant of about $60,000, which was applied for by East and West Kauai Soil and was administered by state Department of Health.

In contributing to the projects to secure the federal funding, Grove Farm and Kauai Coffee representatives agreed to provide manpower, the use of equipment and materials for the projects, Inouye said.

A Grove Farm project showed how to divert water away from agricultural roads by using locally-bought materials, a conveyor belt and albizia wood.

As a result, ruts were removed and erosion of surface dirt was stalled, representatives for East and West Kauai Soil said.

The project implemented by Kauai Coffee Company demonstrated how a filter fabric placed in sumps dug six to eight inches deep and topped with gravel slowed sediment runoff.

The projects resulted in the production of five instruction videos related to roads, “the importance of drainage,” outlets, standing water and roads blocks.

For copies of the videos, contact East and West Kauai Soil at 245-6513 or majorie.standphill@hi.usda.gov

The East and West Kauai Soil are two of 16 state conservation districts and are among 3,000 conservation districts nationwide, Inouye said.

The function of the districts is to seek technical, financial and educational resources and coordinate them so they can meet community needs.

Members of the Kaua‘i conservation districts also are involved in reviewing erosion control plans on agricultural lands and reviewing and taking action on conservation plans to maximize federal cost-share assistance for small farming operations with partnerships with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services.

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