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Posted on Mar 1, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – As Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Awareness Month (HISAM) drew to a close, a series of award winners were announced by the Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC). The awards recognize community members and organizations that have made substantial contributions to protecting Hawaiʻi from the impacts of invasive species. The awards were announced Monday, during a live-streamed closing ceremony that included mele, hula, and reflection on the past month with the help of Hālau ʻŌhiʻa.

February marked the 10th annual Hawaiʻi invasive species awareness event, which began in 2013 as a week-long event and was extended by Governor Ige in 2018 to encompass the entire month of February.

Previously focused on in-person volunteer efforts, HISAM shifted during the pandemic to focus on virtual educational webinars highlighting important biosecurity topics and the work being done to manage invasive species across the state.

This yearʻs HISAM featured over 20 webinars with close to 400 attendees. Topics ranged from the latest research on Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death to a tutorial on engaging in the State legislative process. Recordings are available on the HISC website.

The virtual HISAM awards ceremony featured members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature presenting awards in recorded videos, also available on the HISC website.

The 2022 awards recognized an “MVP” for Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui Nui, and Hawaiʻi Island, as well as winners in the categories “Business Leader,” “Community Hero,” and “Greatest Hit.” Awardees included individuals with extraordinary commitments to volunteerism, people who started non-profits to work on invasive species, and businesses that went above and beyond in integrating invasive species prevention and control into their operations.

Though HISAM is over for this year, people can continue to help prevent and manage invasive species by reporting pests to 643-PEST or, cleaning shoes and equipment before entering the forest, and cleaning boats and marine equipment before use.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HISAM 2022 webinar recordings and award videos:

Closing ceremony recording:

HISAM 2022 awardees (individual YouTube videos shareable from the HISC web address above or directly from

  • Community Leader: Sandy Ward, Executive Director of Mālama Puʻuloa, for her efforts to educate and engage ʻEwa youth in restoring abundance to the area surrounding Pearl Harbor. (Oʻahu)
  • Greatest Hit: Ryan Chang, for his extraordinary commitment to multiple volunteer groups working in the areas of conservation and invasive species removal. (Oʻahu)
  • Business Leader (Tie):
    • Hawaiian Earth Products, for their cooperation with the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Response on Oʻahu and innovation in turning infested soil into safe, usable soil products. (Oʻahu)
    • Haleakalā Ranch, for their longterm commitment to conservation and invasive species mitigation. (Maui)
  • Kauaʻi MVP: Roshan Manandhar, Associate Extension Agent with the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, for his dedication to invasive species coordination and his work with community members to mitigate multiple invasive species issues.
  • Oʻahu MVP: Protect & Preserve Hawaiʻi, a non-profit organization, for their efforts to remove invasive species and restore a parcel of land in the southern Koʻolau mountains.
  • Maui Nui MVP: Dr. Fern Duvall, for his lifetime contributions to invasive species prevention and control over a nearly 40-year career on Maui with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, close involvement with the Maui Invasive Species Committee, and more.
  • Hawaiʻi Island MVP (Tie):
    • Kiyoshi Adachi of the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab, for his efforts to expand the lab to West Hawaiʻi and assist community members with mitigating Little Fire Ant
    • Ruth Bennett of the Paʻauilo Mauka-Kalopā Community Association, for her efforts to raise awareness about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, rat lungworm, and the two-lined spittlebug.

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

DLNR Senior Communications Manager

Phone: 587-0396

[email protected]