Honolulu, HI, United States
Story by Seaman Aja Jackson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), and members of the Honolulu community participated in a cleanup of the Loko Pa’aiau Fishpond, Sep. 28.
The purpose of restoring the fishpond is to bring fish and vegetation back in order to sustain the future generations of the Hawaiian population.
A few notable contributors in the community include Brandon Elefante, Honolulu City Councilman, and Capt. Marc Delao, commanding officer of NAVFAC.
“This is an ongoing relationship we have with the community and we’re helping them out as they help us,” said Delao. “Just being with the local people and a handful of Sailors, we are able to have this time and fellowship.”
The cleanup fell on National Public Lands Day which is the largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation.
Before the cleanup began, Kehaulani Lum, who is affectionately called “Auntie,” the president of Ali’i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, provided a traditional Hawaiian blessing for the fishpond to honor the ancestors of all community members that took part in the cleanup. The blessing must take place before entering the sacred space.
“The brilliance of this space is that nature is peace,” said Lum. “The fish coming now have been coming for generations because fish always return. They could very well be the descendants of the queen who created this space.”
This ancient Hawaiian fishpond was built about 500 years ago and is one of three still remaining around Pearl Harbor.