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Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT) 

Protecting watersheds against invasive species

  • Be a Volunteer and Sponsor to Protect Maui Watersheds from the Miconia Invasion.

    Donations are made online UH Foundation account No. 127-6860-4.

  • Applicator engaging a miconia target with HBT precision.

    target miconia
  • Miconia can produce millions of seed that survive in the soil for decades.

  • The East Maui Watershed produces 388 billion gallons of fresh water annually.

  • Since 2012, we have eliminated 20,363 incipient targets; protecting over 45,000 acres of watershed.

  • Our team has decades of experience in invasive species management and helicopter operations on Maui.

    purple berets

The Innovation

Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT) is a state of the art weed management tool developed by the University of Hawaii, which has been designed to surgically eliminate invasive pest species with pneumatically delivered, herbicide-filled projectiles.  Since 2012, the HBT platform has been deployed in over 500 hours of helicopter operations to detect and eliminate miconia (Miconia calvescens) from the East Maui Watershed (EMW). In these last five years, we have eliminated over 20,000 incipient plant targets, protecting the most remote areas of the watershed.

The Vision

To offer exclusive opportunities for conservation-minded citizens to volunteer and sponsor HBT helicopter operations protecting the EMW against a miconia invasion. Volunteers participate in a HBT operation searching for high-value miconia targets in remote areas of the EMW. Sponsors make tax-deductible donations to support this public watershed protection program.

The Conservation Challenge

The EMW is 120,000 acres of steep, forested landscape producing billions of gallons of fresh water annually; critical to maintaining life and agriculture on MauiMiconia is an invasive plant species disrupting forest integrity and function. Since its purposeful introduction four decades ago, satellite populations have spread across over 45,000 acres of the watershed.

The Opportunity

We need to leverage our conservation program on Maui with better outreach that offers private citizens the opportunity to volunteer as essential flight crew members on HBT helicopter operations. Volunteers will learn about the importance of protecting the EMW by directly contributing to positive outcomes in watershed protection. 

The Benefits

Support for our program will have measurable benefits to watershed conservation and science, with a suggested donation of $6000 protecting up to 1000 acres of the EMW. In the next 40 years, we expect to remediate the entire invaded 45,000 acres of the EMW, with every contributing hour reducing the time it takes to reach this milestone.

Be a Volunteer and Sponsor to Protect Maui Watersheds from the Miconia Invasion

In spite of our good work, we are only flying 100 hours a year and desperately need to bring this up to 200 hours a year to more sustainably contain this invasion. A suggested tax-deductible donation of $6,000 USD would amount to a 3% contribution of our annual goal, going directly to protecting the EMW.

Donations are made online with the University of Hawaii Foundation.  Click on account No. 127-6860-4 (Invasive Weed Management Research Program for Hawaii) or click on the UH Foundation Icon on the right.  Mahalo for your support.

If you require information in an Alternative format, please contact us at:  learyj@hawaii.edu