An advanced education program for those on the front lines protecting Hawaii from invasive species.
Finding pests as early as possible, or avoiding them in the first place, are the best ways to protect your business and our islands. As the first line of defense, it is important for nursery staff and managers to be familiar with current plant pests and diseases, and the Invasive Species Committees (ISCs) in each county are organizing a new –and free– Pest Prevention Training to help.
This project is funded through a USDA Plant Protection Act 7721 Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program grant to the University of Hawaii Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, which oversees the ISCs and the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS).
The training will feature information about the identification, reporting, and best management practices for some high-risk pests that are not known to occur in Hawaii, not known to occur in the United States, and some pests that are present but are a high priority for containment like the coconut rhinoceros beetle. CGAPS and the county-based ISCs are developing the training in consultation with the State and Federal Departments of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii – CTAHR, and approval for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be sought for the training. Participating nurseries will receive supporting material for reference afterward.
The trainings will be offered in the spring and summer of 2022 by the local ISC outreach staff on each island as 1.5 hour virtual workshops, or when possible and requested in-person workshop sessions in compliance with all state and county health and safety laws, rules, and regulations, and those of the University of Hawaii and Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.
“We wanted to connect or reconnect with our local nurseries and provide everyone with the latest information because they are so important in the early detection and reporting of pests,” said CGAPS program manager Christy Martin. “The pests and diseases we are focusing on tend to travel on or in tropical ornamental plant materials, including fruit trees and palms, but if nurseries have the necessary information, maybe we can prevent them from becoming established and spreading locally.”
If you would like more information about the program and to request or schedule a training, fill out this survey.