Ewa Plains sink holes preserved

Nakoa Pauole
Nakoa Pauole
Ati Jeffers-Fabro
Ati Jeffers-Fabro

By Roger Mari - bio | email

(HONOLULU)  KHNL - About 120,000 years ago, the Ewa Plains in Kapolei were under water. As the water receded, it left hundreds of sink holes, revealing clues to Hawaii's natural history.

The area covers six acres. On Wednesday, students from Kapolei Elementary school were given a lesson on how these sink holes were formed and what they could expect to find at the bottom.

"I learned this place was coral before we lived on top of it. It was cool; there were lots of rocks and bones," said Kapolei Elementary Student Nakoa Pauole.

Ati Jeffers-Fabro is an environmental educator and sees this place as more than just an arid piece of land. It's where the bones of extinct Hawaiian bird species have been discovered.

"It is an area that is significant because of the natural history and its preserve," said Jeffers-Fabro.

What the area lacks in lush green tropical plants, it makes up for in being a hotbed for educational research.

"It's a living laboratory where things have yet to be discovered and those are the things we'd like to bring out," said Jeffers-Fabro.

Fabro was pleased with the kid's enthusiasm and hopes others will take interest in learning about the animals that once flourished on the Ewa Plain.

"What I see is the potential to invigorate imagination and imagination leads to curiosity which also leads to creativity, something we're losing site of in our educational system," said Jeffers-Fabro.

Wednesday morning, the 6-acre site was preserved in honor of the late doctor Alan Ziegler, a prominent zoologist who pioneered the study of these sink holes beginning in the 1970's.

Right now the site is open for educational programs and tours, which can be arranged through the Conservation Counsel For Hawaii.