Coqui Free Waimea community workshop today

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<p>A Coqui-Free Waimea volunteer shows her catch on a coqui hunt. PHOTO COURTESY OF CFW FOR NHN</p>

Coqui-Free Waimea volunteers spoke at a budget discussion at NHERC on May 9, to thank Mayor Billy Kenoi for his support for coqui control over the years and for his part in making sure that CFW received a spraying tank on loan from the county. The tank fills out the group’s range of equipment—from backpack sprayers to the 400-pound tank.

“We’d like to propose a community and government partnership to control coqui frogs,” CFW volunteer Kathy Rawle said at the meeting. “A number of groups around the island have educated residents on what can be done, trained core crews to use equipment, and organized neighborhoods to work together. What the county can do to help is to use its purchasing power to provide citric acid to these groups.”

Citric acid is the only approved treatment for controlling coqui frogs. At about $2 a pound, citric is the most expensive part of the control equation if volunteers do the work.

Joyce O’Connor, a founding member of CFW, said she was pleased at the mayor’s response.

“’That should be doable,’ he said. And several of his department heads were nodding in agreement,” O’Conner said. “Citric acid is expensive. Having the county help with this would be a huge help.”

After the meeting, County Research and Development Director Laverne Omori asked CFW to contact her to see what can be done.

Val Poindexter, Hamakua County Council member, organized the meeting. Kenoi and all his department representatives answered questions about the mayor’s proposed budget for the coming year.

To kick off the active coqui season, Coqui-Free Waimea will offer a workshop at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, May 30. Tyson Caitano will host the event at Horizon Automotive, 64-5205 Alanui Ohana. CFW volunteers will discuss coqui frogs and their impact on Waimea, answer questions and show the equipment used in different situations. Attendees will also be able to see a log of frog locations in Waimea. This workshop will be a one-stop opportunity for residents to learn how to keep the loud shrill of coquis out of their neighborhood.

Coqui-Free Waimea (CFW) is a volunteer group that helps neighborhoods to locate and eliminate frogs. Call 885-FROG to report frogs in Waimea and to help. Send tax-deductible donations made out to The Kohala Center with “Coqui-Free Waimea” on the memo line to P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, HI 96743.