Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea announced that the Hāna Limu Festival returns to Hāna Bay Beach Park at Kapueokahi on July 15, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 12th Hāna Limu Festival returns to its traditional Hāna Bay location for the first time since 2019.
“Our Hāna Limu Festival has grown and diversified over the years,” said Claudia Kalaola, Limu Festival Chair and co-founder of Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea. “More like-minded organizations are joining the festivities and adding a variety of fun and interesting activities that compliment our limu and educational theme.”
“Moving the Festival from the Hawaiian Moon Calendar season of Hoʻoilo (winter) to Kauwela (summer) allows us to take advantage of more favorable ocean conditions for some of these new activities, especially our Limu Surveys in three different moku of East Maui. With better conditions, we can collect a wider variety of Hawaiian Limu for our identification, educational and cultural activities.”
This year’s Festival spotlights the Limu Kala. Golden-brown and speckled, Limu Kala was used to heal physical and emotional wounds. “Kala,” which means “to forgive,” is a central component of hoʻoponopono, the traditional Hawaiian conflict resolution process. Limu Kala was recently named the official Hawaiʻi State Limu after being signed into law by Governor Josh Green, M.D.
The ʻOlelo Noʻeau (Hawaiian proverb) “E ‘ai i kekahi, E kāpī i kekahi,” (Eat some, Salt some), is the motto this year, eloquently expressing the theme of sustainability. Nā Mamo O Mū‘olea’s mission is to restore and maintain marine resources for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of the community and future generations.
The Limu Festival will feature live limu demonstrations, hands-on activities for youth, Hawaiian music, hula by a local hālau, a silent auction, cultural craft vendors, food, and t-shirts that feature a limu kala print by Maui artist Gwen Arkin.
Hāna residents and limu experts from across the pae ʻāina will conduct limu surveys at four locations along the Hāna Coast on the morning of the Festival. They will share their ʻike, observations, and limu collections with keiki and other festival-goers.
Organized by Hāna residents, the Limu Festival is designed to promote a deeper awareness of native limu and to make people mindful of their kuleana and role in ensuring that ocean resources remain abundant for future generations.
Collaborating partners and co-sponsors who help with the event include The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo and the Maui Nui Makai Network.
The event focuses on the inherent connections between the health of limu, fish, plants, and Hawaiian culture. Native limu is essential, not only as an ‘ono (delicious), nutritious part of the traditional Hawaiian diet but for its vital role in the health of the nearshore ecosystem, serving as the base of the food chain and providing food and shelter for herbivore fish and invertebrates.
Each year, funds raised through a silent auction at the Festival enable Nā Mamo O Mūʻolea to award the Isabella Aiona Abbott Scholarship to Hāna students who wish to pursue further education in marine biology, natural resource management, and Hawaiian studies.
Nā Mamo O Mūʻolea is a nonprofit group made up of residents and families of Mūʻolea. Its mission is to perpetuate traditional management of the Mūʻolea ahupuaʻa and, through a lease agreement with the County of Maui, to restore and maintain Mūʻolea’s natural, cultural, scenic, historic, and marine resources for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of community and future generations.
Organizations that will present educational activities at the Festival include Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, NOAA Marine Mammal Center, Haleakala National Park, The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Kīpahulu ʻOhana, Nā Moku ʻAupuni ʻO Koʻolau Hui, Surfrider Foundation, Coral Reef Alliance, Kahanu Garden, Ocean Era, and the DLNR – Maui Department of Aquatic Resources.
Organizers thanked sponsors for their continued support, including the County of Maui, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Maui Nui Makai Network, The Nature Conservancy and Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo.