by Lilinoe Yong, Puohala Elementary School

Through this project, students will understand the concept of caring for a Native-Hawaiian fishpond. They will research techniques on caring for a fishpond, including the types of plants that are native to the area. They will research similar problems that other fishponds encounter and how these problems were resolved. They will conduct an experiment to detect the best growing environment for some native plants to thrive; then digitally document, record, and share their findings through telecommunications. They will post their final presentations on the internet to be used as a resource for other stewards of fishponds. Think globally but act locally, as they see what they can do to improve the quality in part of their local environment while sharing their process and results world-wide in hopes others will be empowered to make changes in their own environments.

Introduction

 

Waikalua Loko Fishpond is an 11 acre pond located where Kawa Stream and Waikalua Stream flows into Kaneohe Bay near Puohala Elementary School.

We’re living in a world where some species are killing other species because of the competition for a habitat in which to grow.  If nationally we are aware that mangrove is taking over many native species and need to be eradicated, then schools should prepare students to be members of an ecologically proactive society with civic responsibility towards maintaining balance and harmony for native organisms like the Akulikuli plant to survive by replanting them in the fishpond.   The Waikalua Loko Preservation Society has been inviting schools to the fishpond with the instructional goal to research how we can improve Hawaii's fishponds.  The overall question we ask in this unit of study is "How can we restore and care for the Native-Hawaiian fishpond?" This is a three part unit that will research and investigate the following questions:

  1. What plants are native to the fishpond and how does one determine the best growing environment for the Akulikuli plant?
  2. Does the Akulikuli plant clean the water quality of our fishpond?
  3. What can we do to stop the mangrove from further destruction of our fishpond?

This is a picture of the mangrove plants that grow at Waikalua Loko Fishpond. Is this plant a friend or foe of the Native Hawaiian fishponds?