Betty Nagamine Bliss Memorial Overlook

While at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, Joe Schwagerl, Project Lead for USFWS Oahu/Maui NWF Unit,  told me about the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and the planned commemoration of the Betty Nagamine Bliss Memorial Overlook on Dec. 1st. I had only seen these wetlands on the map and caught an occasional glimpse as I run the Pearl Harbor bike path. I was surprised and pleased to know there is an effort underway to make these areas a bit more accessible to the public.

Here are a few photos of the commemoration ceremony for the Betty Nagamine Bliss Memorial Overlook. Betty Bliss was a teacher at McKinley High School back in the 1970's who spend many long hours convincing the Federal government (FAA) to preserve wetlands that were being destroyed by the building of the Honolulu International Airport. Through her tireless efforts and with help from Herman Bliss, who was head of the FAA in Hawaii at the time, the US Fish & Wildlife Service designated several areas around Pearl Harbor as wildlife refuges. More than 40 years later, she is being memorialized in the construction and dedication of the overlook.

As I came to realize, not only is the overlook a way to provide better public access to the area for viewing and appreciating Hawaii's wetlands, it is also part of a plan to extend the bike path from Pearl Harbor all the way to Nanakuli. I stumbled upon this Leeward Bikeway plan produced by R.M. Towill Corp. for the Dept of Transportation.

As I follow my curiosity, I'd like to find out when a large section of "bike path" from Waipahu Depot Road, where Pouhala Marsh is located all the way to West Locke Estates, is slated for completion. More to come...

James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge

Thanks to the Pacific Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawaii Science Writers Association, I recently got a chance to visit the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge to view habitat for wetland birds and spend time with Jason Graham to learn about the endangered yellow-faced bee.

As many of you know, I am working with UH researchers on an National Science Foundation project called ʻIke Wai, to study Hawaiʻi's freshwater aquifers. This gives me a unique opportunity to get back outdoors into nature and the environment, and to reconnect to a personal interest of mine, Aloha ʻAina.

The James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge is part of the ahupuaʻa that starts with the watershed in the Koʻolau mountains and results in freshwater springs that feed the wetlands of the refuge.

I believe in the interconnectedness of everything so you will find, in addition to the tech and open data topics, posts here about the watershed, wetlands, native ecosystems, birds and whatever interesting corners my curiosity leads me. Mahalo for joining me on this journey.