Environment

UH Scientists Create App to Track Papaya Virus

Apr 16, 2014
Flickr / ddwilmoth
Flickr / ddwilmoth

If you’ve ever wondered if that papaya tree growing in your backyard has ring spot virus -- now there’s an app for that! Two University of Hawaii at Mānoa researchers are taking a digital approach to track what they believe may be a decrease in the destructive virus. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

For more information and to download the free app, visit the Pic-a-Papaya website.

Navy Updates Lawmakers on Red Hill Fuel Leak

Mar 10, 2014
Flickr / hihousedems
Flickr / hihousedems

It’s been almost 2 months since a fuel tank sprang a leak at the Navy’s Red Hill facility, resulting in the release of 27,000 gallons of jet fuel. Water samples collected from the area show the water is safe to drink, but it’s still not clear how the leak started and what the long term impacts might be. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Where Have All The Kamehameha Butterflies Gone?

Feb 17, 2014
Nathan Yuen
Nathan Yuen

The Kamehameha butterfly was once found on all the main Hawaiian Islands. But researchers say the insect, which is found only in the state of Hawaii, is now on the decline. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

The University of Hawaii has set up a website called the Pulelehua Project to track sightings of the Kamehameha butterfly. Find out more about the project or submit your own sightings by clicking here.

Flickr / st3v3l33
Flickr / st3v3l33

Among Hawaii’s many charms is the humble plate lunch. And chances are that lunch will likely be served in a Styrofoam container. Lawmakers this session are trying to change that and push local restaurants to go green. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Flickr / Brent | Marketing
Flickr / Brent | Marketing

Hawaiian Electric and the Army are one step closer to a biofuel power plant at Schofield Barracks. The proposed 50-megawatt plant would be a source of renewable energy for Oahu residents, while also providing backup power for the military. The Army is preparing to study environmental impacts. But first, it wants to hear input from the community. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Public meetings will be held:

Flickr / Akamai Solar Hawaii
Flickr / Akamai Solar Hawaii

Energy could play a big role in this year’s legislative session. Introduced bills range from increases in renewables to modernizing the state’s electrical grid. And while clean energy in Hawaii is on the rise, some say it’s still difficult for many to gain access. A proposed project hopes to fix that. HPR’s Molly Solomon report.

DLNR Investigates Kauai Lanternfish, Squid Die-Off

Jan 29, 2014
DLNR
DLNR

Between 500-800 lanternfish and squid were found dead or dying near Nawiliwili on Kauai. That’s according to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Frazer McGilvray works in the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources. He says they’ve partnered with U-S Geological Survey biologists to collect samples to identify potential causes.

An Environmental War That's For The Birds

Jan 29, 2014
Flickr / carla kishinami
Flickr / carla kishinami

Cattle egrets and barn owls are common birds around the islands. Before statehood, they were brought in to control pests. But they’ve become a threat to native and endangered birds. That’s led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose a rule change to allow them to be killed. And that’s stirring controversy among wildlife biologists and animal advocacy groups, who say we should be looking at other solutions. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Hawaii Ecotourism Association

Tourists are increasingly seeking a vacation experience that values local culture and the environment. This growth in eco-tourism has prompted a nonprofit, Hawaii Ecotourism Association, to promote a more sustainable type of travel. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Saving the Whales: One Net at a Time

Dec 25, 2013
HIHWNMS/ NOAA MMHSRP  permit # 932-1489
HIHWNMS/ NOAA MMHSRP permit # 932-1489

More than 10,000 humpback whales migrate to the islands every winter to give birth in Hawaii’s warmer waters. But this whale season, officials are seeing a spike in entanglements, where whales collide with nets and other fishing equipment. HPR’s Molly Solomon tells us more.

Frostpaw the Polar Bear Follows Obama to Oahu

Dec 23, 2013
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Biological Diversity

President Barack Obama arrived in Oahu this weekend, where he’s expected to stay over the next few weeks for his annual vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. But this year he has an unexpected visitor -- of the furry variety. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Over Navy Sonar Plan

Dec 17, 2013
Flickr / scott1e2310
Flickr / scott1e2310

There’s been a new development in a long-running controversy involving sonar and marine life. The Navy is set to ramp up testing and training activities off the coast of Hawaii and Southern California. And that’s sparked some legal opposition. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

UH Study Predicts Climate Change Tipping Point

Oct 10, 2013
University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii

A new study on climate change from researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is predicting temperatures across the globe will hit unprecedented highs --some of them sooner than expected. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

The study is published in the current issue of Nature.

Molasses Spill Sends Matson, State Scrambling

Sep 12, 2013
Molly Solomon

It’s been 4 days since a devastating molasses spill caused by a ruptured pipeline erupted into the waters of Honolulu Harbor, killing thousands of fish and marine life. Matson, the company responsible for the spill, says it's still grappling with a course of action. HPR’s Molly Solomon was there and has this report. 

City's HI-5 Recycling Program Goes DIY

Aug 12, 2013
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

When it comes to recycling…Hawaii has struggled with a lack of resources and funding. But a new hands-on project in Oahu is taking a do-it-yourself approach. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.  

For more information on the DIY Hi-5 Public Recycling Project, call 768-3200 or email tfarnsworth@honolulu.gov. More information is available online.

Flickr / terry.1953
Flickr / terry.1953

It’s been a week since two U.S. fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs into waters of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. While investigations continue into the incident, it’s still not clear whether the U.S. Navy will try to recover the ordinance. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Planting for Hawaii's Future, One Test Tube at a Time

Jun 24, 2013
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hawai‘i is home to over 12,000 native plant species, with 90% found nowhere else in the world. Hundreds of these plants are endangered and teeter on the brink of extinction. HPR's Molly Solomon reports on a science lab at the center of a conservation effort that's working to save some of Hawai’i’s rarest native plants.

Auto companies around the world are increasing their production of more environmentally friendly vehicles. And one country in southeast Asia is taking steps to become a center for factories producing “green” cars HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Apr 23, 2013

More than one billion people in 192 countries were expected to participate in Earth Day activities today… marking the 43rd year of focusing on environmental awareness.   HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka accompanied a group of hikers yesterday … who celebrate Earth Day more than once a year …

Molokai's Sacred Rainforest

Apr 17, 2013
4nitsirk/Flickr.com

  Next Monday is Earth Day. And while there will be various celebrations around the state, the event will also be marked in an ancient rainforest on the island of Molokai. Catherine Cluett has more from the Molokai Dispatch.

  UH Manoa researchers are reporting the decline of a native moth that indicates changes in habitat across the island chain.  Thanks to specimens collected over time at the Bishop Museum and the UH Insect Museum, scientists are able to chart changes and possibly propose mitigation efforts.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

You can read the full research paper online.

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