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Restoring the land on Kahoʻolawe through new methods like biochar

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons
An irrigation tubing running atop the red soil of Kahoʻolawe as a crew works to plant new life in the hard-packed ground.

Kahoʻolawe was once home to a thriving native Hawaiian dryland forest and at least eleven wetlands. The island’s native ecosystems have yet to recover from decades of military bombing, overgrazing and large wildfires. The island also loses 1.9 million tons of topsoil through wind and rain erosion every year.

In its efforts to heal the land, the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission has begun using a high-carbon form of charcoal called “biochar.” The Conversation’s Lillian Tsang sat down with the Commission’s Natural Resource Specialist James Bruch to learn more.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 23, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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