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KUA receives OHA grant for fishponds


KUA receives OHA grant to support the coordination of loko ia (traditional fishpond) organizations and practitioners.

Brenda Asuncion

Brenda Asuncion

Kuaaina Ulu Auamo (KUA) has been awarded a $228K Pae Aina Sustainability grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to build the capacity of loko ia practitioners to successfully implement restoration and management activities.

Over the two-year project period, KUA will work to advance the networking and organizing of Hui Malama Loko Ia (Hui), which is a growing consortium of loko ia practitioners and stewardship organizations.

KUA has hired Brenda Asuncion as a Loko Ia Coordinator to facilitate the implementation of the project goals, which include but are not limited to the following: statewide gatherings and training opportunities for fishpond practitioners, increased number of permitted restoration projects, streamlined communication with agencies relevant for restoration projects, and coordinated inventory and research opportunities.

KUA Executive Director Kevin Chang said, “Brenda is a young Native Hawaiian marine biologist with both the reason and passion to support our communities as they address the common and complex problems confronting Hawaiian cultural practices and seafood security.”

OHA is joined by the Conservation International’s Hawaii Fish Trust (HFT) in generously sponsoring this effort.

“Our work could not progress without the collaborative spirit and support of organizations like OHA and the HFT,” Chang said. “This program has the potential for diverse and collective impact across the state through networking and empowering malama aina focused groups wishing to feed our communities and re- invigorate a sustainability ethic through cultural practice.”

KUA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a 10-year history of providing movement and network facilitation, capacity building and strategic support for community stewardship efforts.

KUA connects communities together and provides short-term and long-term assistance when invited to contribute.

KUA’s primary mission is to empower communities to improve their quality of life through caring for their biocultural heritage.

For further information, call KUA at 808-672-2545.

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