Ka Honua Momona means “abundant Earth,” and a Molokai nonprofit of that name is reawakening the fertile Friendly Isle through the restoration of ancient Hawaiian fishponds on the island’s south shore. “Molokai was once known as the breadbasket of the islands due to the momona (abundance) of the land and sea,” said Kauwila Hanchett, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We believe Molokai can return to momona and become a model of sustainability for others.”
In fact, “sustainability is at the heart of all we do,” Hanchett said. “We are driven by our passion to ensure that the natural and cultural beauty of Molokai remains vibrant and strong for future generations.” Rooted in sustainability, the group is also actively engaged with nurturing young people, she said. “Training young people to become leaders through year-round and summer internships, as well as working with youth of all ages through our environmental education programs is an important part of our strategy to ensure that the resources we care for today continue to be protected in perpetuity,” Hanchett explained.
The nonprofit has 14 staff members and volunteers forming its “core team,” Hanchett said. Local school and community groups also donate more than 10,000 hours of service annually to fishpond restoration. “Together, we are removing invasive species, rebuilding the ancient rock walls surrounding the pond, and restoring the momona of Alii and Kalokoeli fishponds,” she said. The group carries out its work with five core principles: hoewe, or cultural rootedness; kahu hoilina, environmental stewardship; kuka’I ka ha, deep sharing; ka ‘imi ‘ike, lifelong learning; and mahuaola, health and well-being, Hanchett said.
Ka Honua Momona hosts Community Work Days on the third Saturday of each month. For more information, call (808) 553-8353 or visit the nonprofit’s website at www.kahonuamomona.org.
“Sustainability is at the heart of all we do.”
Kauwila Hanchett, Ka Honua Momona Executive Director