HONOLULU (KHON2) – In ancient Hawaiʻi, a Waimānalo chief named Kukui commissioned a turtle pond to be constructed.

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All these generations later, the structure remains, but helping hands are giving it a chance to thrive for many more years to come.

The Waimānalo Limu Hui was awarded a 3-year permit by the state to restore the historic turtle pond named “Pāhonu,” which literally means “turtle wall.”  

For 2 years, the community has gathered almost monthly to contribute to its restoration. 

“It did provide honu for the chief, but I’m sure it did provide fish at one point, either intentionally or unintentionally, as well as the in the wall being able to sustain life for invertebrates,” says Ikaika Rogerson, Board President of Waimānalo Limu Hui. 

As an island state, we rely on imported goods.

So, turning to our history may help us find solutions to sustainability. 

“Look at shipping costs,” says Rogerson.

“Shipping costs are going up right now.  By having something like Pāhonu where we can grow own fish.”

It was in 2017 when the group began planting Limu, or seaweed, on the wall to help restore the nearshore fishery.   

Though the pandemic has caused a lot of hardship, it has helped to replenish marine life.

“Whenever we go out, we always do Kilo, to pay attention to what different species we find there in the ocean,” says Rogerson.

“Since then, we’ve noticed a definite increase in the amount of fish in the area.

Many different species are coming back now.

We also got to see Līpoa (seaweed variety) come to shore which hasn’t happened in at least 15 years maybe.”

If you want to learn more about sustainability and the return of the Hui’s community workdays, check out the groups website at www.waimanalolimuhui.org.