#OhiaLove Help Save Hawai'i Forests
$50,030 of $50,000 goal
A newly identified disease called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) has killed over a hundred thousand ʻōhiʻa trees on Hawaiʻi Island and affected 34,000 acres. When healthy-looking trees begin to exhibit symptoms, they typically die within a matter of weeks. This fungal disease has no known treatment and has the potential to kill ʻōhiʻa trees statewide.
ʻŌhiʻa trees are the keystone species of our native forests, covering 865,000 acres statewide, and half of the native trees on Hawai‘i Island are ʻōhiʻa. Native birds, insects, and snails live in them and feed on them. Their canopy protects the innumerable smaller trees and native shrubs, creating the watershed that feeds our streams and recharges our water supply.
This tree also has immense cultural significance, symbolizing strength, beauty, and sanctity. It is considered the physical manifestation of Kū, one of the four principal Hawaiian deities.
The University of Hawaiʻi Lyon Arboretum Seed Conservation Lab will collect and preserve ʻōhiʻa seeds from all islands for future forest restoration, after the threat of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death has passed.
This project will include:
• Collection trips to Hawaiʻi Island, by Seed Conservation Lab staff, to target high risk areas
• Day trips by Seed Conservation Lab staff, to target ʻōhiʻa species endemic only to the island of Oʻahu
• Collaboration with professional field botanists from partner agencies, who will send ʻōhiʻa seeds from other islands
• Work with UH & USDA scientists to optimize our efforts on Hawaiʻi Island
• Long term storage of ʻōhiʻa seeds in our seed bank
Tiny ʻōhiʻa seeds (1-2 mm) under a microscope
We have been storing Hawaiian seeds for 20 years, and we currently bank over 12 million seeds from over 500 native species. We and our partners are trained and experienced in seed collection methods for preserving genetic diversity.
The Seed Lab partners with the Lyon Arboretum Micropropagation Lab, the Plant Extinction Prevention Program, theState of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the Hawai‘i Island Native Seed Bank, and other agencies to provide for both long-term storage for conservation, and propagation of plants for restoration efforts.
Visit ohialove.com for more details and FAQs.
We are incredibly grateful to all who have already offered support, and to all future supporters! Mahalo nui loa for supporting our mission!
Just wanted to update you on the results of our project - we collected and banked over 2 million ‘ohi‘a seeds!
You can visit our photo galleries and learn more here: http://friendsoflyon.com/ohialove-collections/
We also want to announce a new project building on the momentum of #OhiaLove - the ROD Seed Banking Initiative. Thanks to funding from Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, we will be offering ‘ohi‘a seed conservation workshops on all islands, free to the community, as well as banking more seeds over the next year in response to the ROD crisis.
Learn more here: http://friendsoflyon.com/rod-seed-banking-initiative/
Mahalo nui loa for your help saving Hawai‘i's forests through seed banking!
MAHALO NUI LOA to all of our incredible supporters for making this project happen!! We are so grateful to each one of our 457 donors, as well as everyone who helped spread the word, with nearly 4000 Facebook shares plus the power of coconut wireless!
We will be closing our official GoFundMe campaign, but you can always support the OhiaLove Project by donating at our UH Foundation giving page: www.uhfoundation.org/OhiaLove . The Seed Lab is now a dedicated partner in the fight against Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, and we will give you updates on our ʻōhiʻa seed banking efforts at www.OhiaLove.com.
Attached are some photos from our first trip to Hawai'i Island to collect seeds for the #OhiaLove Project - thanks to all our generous supporters who helped make this a reality!
Mahalo from the bottom of our hearts for showing so much #OhiaLove!!
We are now announcing our stretch goal of $50,000, which would allow us to make additional seed collection trips and hire a UH student employee who will be dedicated to the expanding #OhiaLove Project. With these funds, we can potentially double the amount of ʻōhiʻa seeds we can store at Lyon Arboretum.
Please help us spread the word! And again, mahalo nui loa to all of our supporters - together we will make a difference in the fight to save ʻōhiʻa!
Mahalo nui loa for all that you do - and have done.
Congratulations! Ohia love is happening!