VOS5-9 Full Episode - Adapting Culture to Climate Change
Voice. Of the sea learning. From experts across. The ocean. Welcome. To voice, of the sea. In. This episode, we're, learning how scientists. Cultural. Practitioners. And community. Members are working, together to understand. And adapt, to the effects of climate change we. Investigate, the relationship. Between a changing, environment and, water, quality, in local fish ponds as well, as the relationship between changing. Ocean conditions and people's, personal, connection, to place we. Start off on the Big Island of Hawaii at, Manoa Kea local, iya with, you H Hilo of graduate, students, and fish, pond caretakers, sheri, cahuachi, and Kamala. Anthony. We. Are at, white Ellie specifically. We're located, right now is Waunakee a local is the name of the fish pond in 2011. My, friends and I started to, take care of the fish pond we learned that, this. Fish pond could provide, essentially. A lifestyle. And, a. Career. Path for us and, so that's when we started to just build up the rock walls again, and. Start to understand, the system better, and introduce. The. Kids in the community to this place and help them join and have them join in and help us build up and restore. The fish pond we're gaining these skills from different professors, and different, expertise, even cultural, experts. On how local. You operate, and then we're, kind of opening, it up to the schools to say hey come we're gonna teach you what we have learned about these places so one of my projects is is like understanding the growth rate in different, salinity regions. Like that influence of salt water within the system so I have these tile sets and they're, set up where fish can feed, on some and then fish can't feed on some I deployed, them for like six days and then I take them out and kind of scrape it and then I'm going to process them a little app to see like is there, a difference, amongst. Those different salinity regions, within the fish pond, when. It comes to the growth rate of the of the food that the fishery yeah so, some of the algae is more tolerant to the salt than, other yeah and it's just like even looking at what those varieties are, and which ones are the ones that are maybe favored. Or most. Desired. By the fish too is another it's like opening up more and more questions like the more we we, carry out the experiment. It is a functioning, fish pond we haven't been able to harvest we're really right at the stage of nursery management, just understanding, who's, living here who thrives here but eventually, will want to be, able to be fully functioning, we're we're we're capturing and, harvesting, fish you will find different species.
In Here versus, right even right outside the wall so the things that can handle that, really thrive in here hopper by which is our brackish water snail we. Also have a pool, aquifer, which is our Hawaiian goby and then we also have our Hawaiian mullet our mama and we have our alum mehe which is our hein brackish. Water crabs and, we. Have a holy holy which is one flag tail and then we have those random. Little, reef fish that can come in and handle but they don't not a lot of them come in just like the, money me and you, know and those sorts of things, hope, I shrink sorry I don't forget about our shrink we have two different kinds of okay and, yeah, they live in here limo, yeah there are different varieties of limo that we haven't been able to identify, it that the fish are definitely, feed on because that's why they stay in here. I. Come. Down and help. On, community. Work these but also just, collecting, data and stuff for my projects, trying to understand how much freshwater there is how does it move within the fish pond and how is that gonna change with, you, know climate change sea level rise and stuff like that one of the most interesting things, that we'll probably see, with, all of this data that we're getting is like the, fluxes, of nutrients, are the pulses, of nutrients, that we, may or may not see with changes. In rainfall we've, been experiencing. Some heavy. Downpours, and then it stops of rain and downpours and, then it stops and so what, does that look like as far as nutrients, pulsing, out of the springs here is it just gushing. Out and then stopping and then how does that change the. Ecosystem, we, did identify, the springs along the coast here and one, of the cool things that we're gonna look at as well as in the fish ponds is the isotope in determining, what elevation, the water is coming from knowing, where the water is coming from mauka, you know how can we mallamma, the watershed, or the agua in order, to make sure that that water is good for these fish ponds each fish, pond is designated, to like, specific, group of caretakers, and then, with, the students, that come and visit they visit, all of the fish ponds that we are studying so they come, monthly. Weekly. And, they visit all of the fish ponds it creates, like a stronger, network throughout all of us we. All want the same goal is, to take care of this place of that you know we can make, and care for us what's been really not, surprising, but really helpful, and. Encouraging, and. Enlightening, for this project is that we are able to collaborate, and connect, and see where people's expertise, come into play, so that we can start to organize, ourselves and, and know our neighbors better and know our community, better better, and know our university, system better so that we can support each other in these type of the. Roles that we take on, this. Place that we live communication. Is everything especially, when you're doing an effort, such as La Jolla because in, the past the local was, a reflection on the community, if your community, if you're your, local you was driving your. Fishbone was driving and that means your community, was starving, and so we. Like to keep that in the back of our head all the time and, everything that we carry out we talk about climate change you. Know and how the environments, changing how the rainfalls changing how the surfs changing, I think what's, really important is to understand.
That. It's social change maybe that needs to happen when it comes to local yeah there's so many different people from so many different places, so, many different backgrounds we got scientists, people who's from here you know me who was born and raised here but you, know haven't been down here my whole life like we, all have these different perspectives and understanding. And knowing that each, perspective is important, and. Knowing that with. Climate change we also need to recognize the. Social changes that need to happen and, acknowledgement. Of other people, in their perspectives, often times are always asked this question how do you bridge that gap between cultural. Knowledge or, cultural, practice, and. Science. Inquiry, right, that's all, the time and it's and the way we look at it is what we realized, through this process is that it's, all it's all the same you know that we don't separate, them we can't, separate, them because it's just that like Cherie said it's just a different, way, of viewing, this. Place you know and if, your goal is to take, care of this place that then. Those. Things were coming between and what we realize is that in. Order to bridge that gap you have to be that gap and I think that's where we've been really. Successful it's. Just being that gap to say okay I'll be the middleman the communicator, between the scientists, between the community, because we have to we don't have no choice we, are the people in the university where are the people at, the, fish farm we are the people taking down the data we are the people interpreting, and data so it's just like filling. Those gaps and, being those gaps rather than thinking about how, we are going to create. Or you, know find that gap yeah in a sense I don't know if that makes sense but yeah. Be. The change yeah. These. Fish ponds, are a balance, of fresh water coming from groundwater flowing. Into them and sea water that, fluctuates. With the tides the, fresh water brings in nutrients, that feeds the algae, that feed the fish so we have that part the seawater well, it tends to be warmer than our groundwater here, the, groundwater is fairly cool the, algae, grows slowly there but in the warmer parts the. Algae may grow faster. So we're looking at those differences, between, the salinity and the temperature, in these ponds it, also tells us how the water is circulating. In these ponds the, pond we're standing, at today we, were measuring flow, rates how fast the water was flowing out we, found out that every 5 hours this pond is being replaced, with fresh water, it's. Like a river it doesn't look like a river but, it's like a river of water coming out here so, for this project we have three different local, weeow three different fish ponds that we're studying each, with different characteristics.
Different Amounts of fresh water coming in different, amounts of connectivity, to the open ocean this, one's kind of an intermediate, or intermediate, scenario, with, climate, change we're going to have rising sea levels, the, sea level that's going to push more saltwater into these ponds but. You can't move back you can't move the water upstream like, you're in a river we, have this confined, space. So, they call it a shrinking. Estuary, the size of the estuary, is, getting, smaller, with sea level rise here, the other part of climate change is the changes, in rainfall, up. Mountain, this. Area is predicted, to have increased. Rainfall, we're going to be working on quantifying, that with this project to, start off is to look at can. We identify an, individual, rain event and see, that signature, here in the ponds is easy to get lost in the weeds of. Ok. What exactly is gonna happen in the future or tell. Me right here in this place in two years how, is the water level gonna change how is the chemistry gonna change at, the end of the day if, you scale, up to say long-term, evolutionary, history of our species we've. Always needed each other so. The more that we can get to know our neighbors our professional, worker expand. Our networks not, only of managers of researchers, but of community members the. More we're building, that ability, to adapt through, each other and building that those, networks, of that trust one another through, times of change if you have only, one small segment that you're interacting with in your community, of say an overall a larger. Town or state of. Managers, and researchers or cultural practitioners, if, you're only networking, with a narrow component, you're diminishing, the. Your adaptive capacity the, more you open that up into broader and broader networks, the more you're building your adaptive capacity to, drink change the community, is directly, involved in the management of this fish pond so you, don't have just a handful of managers it'd take hundreds, of individuals, to, maintain this wall also it's something very unique, here is if this, location. These practices, of local management. Have, not been going on for decades, or even a century but many, centuries, we're. Talking about managers, that have been handing down knowledge from experience, for, hundreds, of years and to, build on that or to support that to, major. Times, of change that's. Adaptation. The. Curriculum research and development, group in the College of Education at. The University of Hawaii at Manoa, CID. G's training, roots go, back over, 40 years, through. Professional development programs. Curriculum, workshops, research. On teaching methodology. Individualized. School and district training and so, much more. The. Curriculum, research and development, group improving. Schools improving. Education. See. Our DG. Welcome. Back we're, talking with dr. Rosie a legato, about, her work studying.
The Microbial, health of Hawaiian, fish ponds and how. The historical. Records found in the Hawaiian language newspapers. Are used, in her research. Hawaiian, fish puns, in particular, are pretty unique because they. Have this innovation, where you have a wall called a Quapaw and you, have these sluice gates called Makaha, and Makaha, means hog, means breath, or essence and maka is the eyes so the eyes of the fishpond are, breathing, the water and so it's a place where you have water exchange of fresh and saltwater creating. Really large brackish, water environments, that promote the. Growth of microalgae. Or, diatoms, and cyanobacteria as, well as macro algae and these are really great for fish, which is what the purpose of the fish pond was these. Completely. Dotted, all the Hawaiian Islands, there are about, 488. Fish ponds known from archaeological, records these, are all opportunities. For us to kind of go and reconstruct, what might have happened along the coastlines having, all of this really long-term data allowed us to identify. Actually. The window of time, that, was pretty dangerous, for the fish pond so we were able to see, show that, if you have no. Trade winds for at least five days you, need to start thinking about moving, the fish out of the area like releasing, them or harvesting, them especially. In conjunction with high temperatures, that's, that, that wind-driven mixing is so vitally important for the fish to have oxygen that, five days of no no trade winds not only are we miserable, but the fish are super miserable as well there. Were these practices, is called heckie heckie so, you would literally go in like stomp, around in the mud on an outgoing tide and it would just take the sediment away and it wasn't like tons so it wasn't like killing the reef but it was still this way to clean, up the fish pond there's, also evidence of people would be, in a canoe and you would tie like a a. Coconut. Leaf to the back and you would basically like, sweep your fish pond not. Going tide. Again, you want some some mud but not as much certainly, as there is now yeah. Because you want to have it photosynthetic, all the way to the benthos and nearly you know. Land-use. Change in hawaii has really really affected, the health of our estuaries you. Know you didn't have all of this runoff coming, from the land because, you had a lot more taro, patches that, were acting as these great settlement basins, you, had active management of your stream systems, because you had Luna, ye who were act, water supervisors. Making sure that you, know the streams were healthy nothing. Was getting clogged up and so you had really great connectivity between the land and the ocean to. Make sure that what was coming out of, at. The bottom at the estuary the Mooney Way was, really really clean and so it didn't negatively, impact the health, of the reef because, of a lot of development, and urbanization as, well as other kinds of sedimentation. That. Balance is offering, now but there's the potential for us to restore those ecosystems, and, increase.
Productivity Of these places so that we can provide food for our, local population. The. University. Of Hawaii Sea, Grant college program. Focused. On Hawaii's, coasts, and its communities. Through. Sustainable, development. Safe. Seafood supply. Sustainable. Coastal, tourism. Hazard. Resilience, and, healthy. Coastal ecosystems. Why. Is secret. Welcome. Back we're, at honah Lee Beach, Park talking, about social, adaptations. To changing, environment, with dr. Noah Lonnie puno vegan ooh and local, caretaker bradda, skibs, cuddly. Is an agua, in the, Hilo. Paliku, moku, here, in Hawaii Island and it, is the probably. Most well known surf spot that we have on the Hilo side it's. Been, around since. Pelion, Yaka they served here back, in the Baca Geeko Hana. Louie has, stories, about it from our ancient past, until today I mean my keiki come here and surf the, students, and the children from all around Hilo have grown up surfing here and. So I wanted to find, a place that people were connected to and see how it changes through time and how you can understand, the environment and people as we. Grow, and, change through time on alii was a spot where I thought I could really understand, people's knowledge about the ocean and, how they think it's been changing through time and, in that way kind of understand how is climate change affecting, us or how has it affected us in the past what we've seen in the last 30 years is, we've, had a decrease in trade winds here in Hilo and that, decrease, in trade winds has brought us decreased, rainfall and, decreased. Streamflow, and so, but all of those conditions lead, to building. Up of like large sandbars, here, in the river where you can almost walk across the entire river. It. Changes, the way the waves, are able to build up or if there's a long shoal what. We've also seen is the. Direction. Of the swells that hit Hawaii have been changing, and so, we're getting more of northern swells, as.
Those, Storm. Tracks, changed, so we're not getting our consistent, trade winds swells what all those themes tell us is that it has been shifting and changing for, a long time and it's not as consistent as it was in the past so, the physical conditions are, going to continue to change. And, I think what's interesting to note is a lot of people they. Don't realize how those, swells have been changing, through time until, you talk to them about it and they're like oh yeah yeah. We've got really awesome. Winter, swells now but. Our summers have been super flat I had a lot of students that were. From. This place and we started serving, serving. Different surfers, mostly, with talks tour in the beginning trying. To understand what questions worked for them and. Thence once we figured out kind. Of what questions worked we actually did a formal survey so, we came out here over. A course of three months and surveyed of 100 surfers and so we surveyed people from the age of 18 to 80 no, matter what, age the surfer was no matter what skill they had no, matter, kind. Of, like. If they're really. Want big waves or small waves they. Were able to explain the wave conditions, really well so they're good observers, of the condition, here but, when you ask them how surf was in the past they. Had different answers for that and so, they observed. How the conditions, have been changing, through time differently. Different. Than each other we looked at their age. Where. They lived how long they've served at this particular, spot versus, if they surfed a long time but at different spots and, all those things didn't really make, a difference the, key variable, that made a difference in how they reflected, on it in the past is how, they viewed this area, personally, so, there are personal, connection, to the area their. Social history, of how they understood, this area so if you've surf this place for a long time you've known that it's gone through a lot of changes, when, I was a kid it was really overgrown, it was a really rough and tumble spot to come to and. So it was kind of had a really different. Atmosphere. About it we're right now it's really family oriented the. Beach parts taken care out so when you ask people what makes the best surf conditions they, would always include, I was out here at my best friends one day or I came and the beach was you, know it's really calm and there was hardly anybody here, and so all those answers, that they're giving you tell you that the social condition is just as important, as the physical ways, that they came in that day and people, across the experience, and the skill level all told you the same thing, it really matters kind of the unknown that you bring to the ocean and the fact that the ocean has, its own sort of spirit that helps, kind, of interact.
With That physical condition that gives you what, we call surf quality, and, so when you relate that to climate change climate change, is, something that you're gonna feel but your reaction to that is based on how you interact, with those places through time and, so that's what the surf is telling us even if the physical conditions are so-called maybe, decreasing, through time because. The social conditions, are balancing, that out people, still have the same. Enjoyment. Of the surf here, I think. That's so interesting because that, was, before, talking to you that was the aspect of your study that I thought well. How, can she get valid. Information out of these surfers because it's, such a personal, thing and then, your answer is it's, such a personal thing and that's what's valuable, and. So it's really like flip. The whole question, on its head yeah. And it's not what I expected -, I thought you know people who've been here for a long time will, be able to tell me exactly how the conditions, have changed and that, would be very different than people who haven't been here for a very long time and that's not what it showed it so that you, know the place has changed just as you've grown up so, you can still enjoy surfing, through. Climate change and so it just gives you that positive, aspect that we're resilient people and. We. Might have said oh the surfs getting junk and the place is degrading, and we're gonna go find somewhere else but instead we said well, doesn't matter if the starts going down if we can make ourselves a part of this environment, and really love it and become part of it then we're gonna love the conditions as it changes with us, so they kind of take a more proactive approach, to being a part of their environment, and, I think that's a good message for climate change I think as we get more connected to our environment and, understand, what's going on we'll, be able to tackle it positively, and not just always feel scared about climate change and, you, know just really feeling the negative effects that we think it's going to bring and the, more you take observations and, start modeling it. The more we are all a part of our environment and the more we can all understand how climate change is affecting us. What. Do you see one of the e being like in 5 10 20. 50 years. So. Over the last five or ten years, funnily paka love has been, caretaking. This area and making it more of a spot for children and, I see that movement continuing. Not. Just in the fact that the site will be more for kids but, that the people of the area will start taking care and, being. The ones to malama this place as it moves forward if, we start losing our connection to places, that we're not going to care that our environments changing so if we have these areas that we can connect to as our, role continues, to change, these.
Areas Are still be really important, to us. Okay. So we ready oh yeah so tell me about your organization, okay our organization, is called basically, which we, are nonprofit organization. Where we grout, it to beach areas, we adopt the area and we educate, people out, of malama to take carefree, that's. What we do so we be, in an example we came as fortunately, this, place was really overgrown, was all bushes, so, we went, to the mirror ask the mirror if we could do this and he. Was stoked but he said then on the land command. Me a school Bishop, estate so. We called this ever state one month later we had a meeting this is in 2003. And. Our members, who wanted to know what I'm gonna do with this I said I want to make a living classroom I want, to educate the. Kids about culture, about, ocean, about, River about, coexists, about all these things at this place so, they, said okay but we adopted, this part so we malama on a weekly basis, and on the weekends, we have kids come down that sir and, we educate them how to coexist you know like I said teaching about why we do it this so. That's, what I hear for you know just share that because I'm, 61, years old I feel, like I 20 I love, my life you know me I stay here pleading really, people helping, the kids go sir, I said come. On we gotta share this so these other people can't understand, it so they can live their life. Better. So that's. All I've been here for is just to be an example, of what I was taught and to, do it and I'm blessed to be a caretaker, of this place. We. Are looking for, a few heroes. Mentors. Trailblazers. Innovators. A, passion. To change lives. Spark. Curiosity open. Hearts and awakened minds help. Students, answer the question, Who. Am I, this. Could be our calling but, this is no job it's, the journey of, a lifetime. Be. A hero being. A teacher.