If you’ve been by the Menehune Fishpond lately and noticed it’s a little bare at one end, don’t be alarmed. The fishpond is actually undergoing a restoration project to remove invasive red mangrove and replace with native vegetation. Red mangrove is an alien plant species introduced to Hawaii in 1902. The plant chokes rivers, estuaries, streams and wetlands and threatens native wildlife habitat.
Native species and vegetation need clean and flowing water to flourish. Along with the nearby Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge, the Menehune Fishpond provides a habitat for thirty-one species of birds, some endangered, and several species of fish and other pond life. Together, the fishpond and refuge provide two miles of continuous wildlife habitat.
The work is being accomplished by volunteers under the direction of the Mālama Hulē‘ia project, an organization dedicated to removing red mangrove and other invasive plants from the Hule’ia River.