Volunteer opportunities abound during Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week

LIHUE — Invasive species take many shapes and forms on Kauai, and in the coming weeks there are multiple opportunities to take part in eradicating them, during the fifth’ annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week.

“It’s something that happens once a year that reminds people that invasive species is a big problem,” said Bill Lucy, of Kauai Invasive Species Committee. “As far as true threats to biodiversity, it’s probably the biggest problem we’re facing on the planet.”

This year, on Kauai, there are four volunteer opportunities in connection with the event.

“Basically our theme here is going from the ocean to the mountains and there’s invasive species problems in all of those kinds of habitats,” Lucy said.

The volunteer events kick off on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with beach cleanup and invasive species removal at Kahili Beach Preserve, also known as Rock Quarry Beach, organized by Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.

A Plant Pono workshop, organized by Kauai Nursery and Landscaping, Inc., and KISC will also be held on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Kauai Nursery and Landscaping conference room.

On Feb. 28, Malama Huleia and KISC are holding a weed control and wetland restoration project at Huleia Wetland from 9 .am. to noon.

“Malama Huleia, they’re focused on the red mangrove, so they’re constantly pulling up seedlings and trying to increase the clearing in the river,” Lucy said.

Invasive weed control will also be happening in Kokee State Park with the Kokee Resource Conservation Program and KISC on March 2 at 8:30 a.m., where volunteers will target ginger and other incipient weeds.

One focus this year will be finding ways to reintroduce native plants into habitats where invasive have been removed.

“Especially the coastal natives are tough plants,” Lucy said. “They seem to be able to come back with vigor.”

Info: 821-1490

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