Mālama Loko Ea Foundation

Mentor: Savili Kamuela Bartley Jr.

STEM Fields: Biology; Environmental Studies; Environmental Conservation; Aquaculture; Botany, Zoology, Indigenous aquaculture

Research Goal: Understand the traditional system of loko iʻa to better conserve and rebuild Loko Ea to provide for the community

Mālama Loko Ea Foundation Website: www.lokoea.org/

Mālama Loko Ea Foundation logoAbout Mālama Loko Ea Foundation

Loko Ea is a 400-500 year old tradtional Hawaiian fishpond. Located in the moku of Waialua and the ahupuaʻa of Kawailoa. This fishpond is a loko puʻuone in other words a sand dune fishpond located behind Māeaea beach commonly known as Haleʻiwa beach park now. Mālama Loko Ea Foundation was founded in 2009 by community members whose intentions was to restore this loko iʻa and connect the two waters of Loko Ea and another fishpond Ukoʻa. At this site there is a wide array of fields and specialties that participants can delve into. Some of which include: Water qualtiy, phytoplankton cultivation, fish identification, data collection, tradtitional aquaculture, agriculture, and an immense amount of mālama ʻāina.

This site offers many different fields that have the same goal of restoring Loko Ea. There are many issues that Loko Ea faces wether it be the ever growing invasive plants, or animals, water quality, huge swells, encroaching neighbors and/or native fish cultivation. Taking a look at these issues there is always ideas to be shared, research to be done, and connections to be built.

Thus, the primary goal at Loko Ea is to continue restoring Loko Ea through community building, mālama ʻāina, native species cultivation, and invasive removal. Through this Loko Ea will flourish and feed the lāhui with food, knowledge, and perpetuation.

Meet Our Internship Mentor Savili Kamuela Bartley, Jr.Person smiling and holding instrument to their eye

Savili grew up in the moku of Waiʻanae, in Māʻili and Waiʻanae valley homestead. Savili graduated from Kamehameha Kapālama and went to the continent for his bachelorʻs degree. He attended Grand View University and obtained his degree in Biology. Shortly after Savili decided to travel througout southeast Asia with the goal of immersing himself into the Environmental conservation field. Working on various conservation projects over the course of about a year, COVD hit and he decided to come back home.

Savili has been working with Mālama Loko Ea Foundation for 3 years now. He currently lives on site at the fishpond and has many roles. He is an educator, native iʻa technician, kiaʻi loko technician, and many more. He also has taught AQUA201 and BIOL101 courses to Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau and Ka ʻUmeke high school.

With that he is very dedicated to learning optimal and effective ways of caring for the fishpond so that in turn the community will flourish. It is his hope that with this program it will bring together the next generation of kiaʻi to perpetuate the work of our kūpuna. The perpetuation by creating healthier and more propserous spaces for our communities for generations to come starting at Loko Ea through STEM fields.

Internship duties and responsibilities:

This internship will educate students on the basics of traditional Hawaiian aquaculture. They will be working out in the field majority of the time understanding the effects of invasive species while also learning the efforts being put forth to restore and conserve. The work will be dependent on what the fishpond needs. Working hands-on in the fishpond requires an open mind, teamwork skills, and communication. 

Students will come out to Loko Ea and participate in general and day to day tasks.
Student will focus in on specific fields of interest while also restoring the fishpond.
Students will develop workplan of desired restoration project and see it through to completion.

Interns should be comfortable with and able to:

  • Lift 30lbs or more
  • Swim
  • Work outdoors for long periods of time
  • Learn Hawaiian protocol
  • Follow all safety procedures
  • Work with all teammates and sometimes with children

2024 Internship Schedule:

Spring 2024:

  • March 19th, 8am – 4pm all together

Summer 2024:

  • June 11th – 15th, 8am – 4pm
  • July 16th – 20th, 8am – 4pm

*Schedules are tentative and are subject to change. Interns will be required to work 8 hours in the Spring 2023. Interns will be required to work 40 hours in the Summer 2023.

Internship Meeting Location:

Mālama Loko Ea Foundation
62-540B Kamehameha Hwy, 
Haleʻiwa, HI 96712