Monsanto Fund Donates $20,000 for Molokai Watershed Protection

Monsanto Fund Donates $20,000 for Molokai Watershed Protection

Monsanto Molokai News Release

The Monsanto Fund awarded a $20,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Hawaii for watershed protection at Kamakou Preserve on Molokai. Since 2006, the Monsanto Fund has contributed a total of $130,000 to TNC’s protection and restoration efforts of critical watershed and fragile ecosystems on Molokai.

Located high in the mountains of East Molokai, the 2,774-acre Kamakou Preserve is a rainforest like no other on the planet. This magnificent natural treasure not only shelters hundreds of native plants and animals, but also serves as an important source of water for the island and its people.

TNC’s work at Kamakou Preserve, in collaboration with the public and private landowners of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership, is focused on invasive animal and weed control.

“Molokai’s forested watersheds today are under constant assault from established and new invasive species,” said Ed Misaki, TNC’s Molokai Program Director. “Feral ungulates (hoofed animals) like wild pigs, goats and deer are steadily eroding fragile topsoil. Once this soil disturbance occurs, invasive plants that did not evolve here, like blackberry and strawberry guava, steadily displace our native forests and watersheds. Once lost, they may be impossible to fully restore at any price.”

The Monsanto Fund’s gift allows TNC to leverage an additional $40,000 in matching funds from the state’s Natural Area Partnership Program, essentially tripling the value of the grant to a total of $60,000.

The funding enables TNC to collect important data about the progress of their conservation efforts using Global Positioning System technology and inspect, maintain and improve fencing that protects the rainforest from feral animals. In 2011, the Conservancy surveyed more than 17 miles of fence in and around Kamakou Preserve. In addition, the funding allows for removal of ungulates and invasive species from protected areas; coordinate community outreach and education activities such as an annual Earth Day event; distribute a biannual newsletter to all residents; and lead monthly hikes, school field trips and volunteer activities in Kamakou Preserve.

“We commend The Nature Conservancy’s director Ed Misaki and his staff for their dedication, perseverance and accomplishments over the years in preserving and restoring Molokai’s critical watershed,” said Dawn Bicoy, Monsanto’s community affairs manager. “This remarkable team understands the problems that impact our island’s watershed and continue to provide tangible long-term solutions to ensure water for future generations. Their important work impacts all our lives, and our company’s employees are extremely proud to support their efforts.”

Visit the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, at monsantofund.org.

Monsanto Fund Donates $20,000 for Molokai Watershed Protection

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