“Seafood & A Sunset” Fundraiser Hosted by Malama Loko Ea Foundation

“Seafood & A Sunset” is a fundraiser hosted by Malama Loko Ea Foundation from 4:30-8:00pm on Sept. 29 on the private grounds of Pua’ena Point Beach and the historic Haleiwa Airstrip. The event will include great food, entertainment, and a silent auction. Individual tickets are $125 each, and may be obtained by emailing Rowena@lokoea.org or Doreen@lokoea.org. Sponsorships are still available for a $3,500 or $5,000 table. Silent auction items are still being accepted. The event website is: lokoeafundraiser.weebly.com

After more than nine years of volunteer workdays, fundraisers, and community and corporate financial support, fully restoring the Loko Ea fishpond is coming closer to reality. All proceeds from Seafood & A Sunset will go directly toward the organization’s capital campaign to purchase specialty dredge equipment necessary for the final step toward bringing Loko Ea back to the healthy ecosystem it once was. The foundation has identified the specific equipment for purchase and has raised $92,000 so far toward the $250,000 required. The goal is to purchase the dredge equipment by Nov. 1.

According to Executive Director Rae DeCoito, “This will be the first machine of its kind in this state and will enable Loko Ea to be the first fishpond to be dredged and fully functional.”

Many people don’t know what’s behind the gate leading to Loko Ea, located behind Haleiwa Beach House. However, if you venture onto the property, says DeCoito, “Loko Ea speaks for itself. She’s considered the jewel of the North Shore. It’s an amazing healing place.”

The mission of Malama Loko Ea Foundation is “to perpetuate the native Hawaiian culture through education, land stewardship, and community building, while sustainably restoring our precious natural resources.” Toward this end, the educational programs and once-a-month volunteer workdays merge native Hawaiian traditional and contemporary practices. The foundation hosts 150 educational field trips annually, and that number is growing. The goal of the community workdays is to encourage community volunteers and students to reconnect with the land, and to one another through education and stewardship.

Malama Loko Ea Foundation began in 2008 when Kamehameha Schools invited community members and organizations to help restore Loko Ea to the functional fishery it once was 400 years ago during the days of the ali’i (chiefs). Many answered the call. In particular, James Estores and Benson Lee were instrumental in moving the project forward. In 2009, Malama Loko Ea Foundation became a 501(c)(3)tax-exempt organization established to support and grow the effort to restore Loko Ea, the rich cultural and natural resource. Removal of invasive grass species throughout the pond has been ongoing, for the purpose of reopening waterways, allowing the native vegetation to thrive, and restoring a balanced ecosystem to the area.

Anyone interested in helping to restore Loko Ea is welcome to participate in the monthly workdays held on the third Saturday beginning with 8:45 am registration and orientation. Volunteers under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All minors are required to have signed parental consent. Participants should bring: clothes that can get wet and muddy; a hat or visor; sunscreen and sunglasses; closed toe shoes; a refillable water bottle; and a reusable mess kit including plate and fork. Lunch is provided. Contact 808-637-3232 for more information.