The Monsanto Fund awarded a $20,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii for watershed protection at Kamakou Preserve on Molokai. Since 2006, the Monsanto Fund has contributed $130,000 to The Nature Conservancy's protection and restoration efforts of critical watershed and fragile ecosystems on Molokai.
The Conservancy's work at Kamakou Preserve, in collaboration with the public and private landowners of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership, is focused on invasive animal and weed control.
"Molokai's forested watersheds today are under constant assault from established and new invasive species," said The Nature Conservancy's Molokai Program Director Ed Misaki. "Feral ungulates (hoofed animals) like wild pigs, goats and deer are steadily eroding fragile topsoil. Once this soil disturbance occurs, invasive plants that did not evolve here, like blackberry and strawberry guava, steadily displace our native forests and watersheds. Once lost, they may be impossible to fully restore at any price."
The Monsanto Fund's gift allows The Nature Conservancy to leverage an additional $40,000 in matching funds from the State's Natural Area Partnership Program.
The funding enables The Nature Conservancy to collect data about the progress of its conservation efforts; inspect, maintain and improve fencing that protects the rain forest from feral animals; remove ungulates and invasive species from protected areas; and coordinate community outreach and education activities in the preserve.
The Monsanto Fund is the nonprofit philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Co.
For more information, visit www.monsantofund.org.