‘Āinakūkoʻa O Waiohuli Kai
Reef Guardians is the applicant and project fiscal sponsor
of ‘Āinakūkoʻa O Waiohuli Kai, located on the south shore of East Maui.
‘Āinakūkoʻa O Waiohuli Kai is a wetland restoration project with a focus on traditional cultural practices, ecosystem function, and community stewardship. The project establishes native and canoe plants for ecosystem function and cultural uses, and encouraging community stewardship. The project will provide labor and materials necessary for removal of invasive species, propagation and planting of native species, Hawaiian cultural education events, and beach and underwater clean-up events.
The goal of this survey was to inventory the flora and fauna in the area, and to develop recommendations for
restoration of the project area.
Then to Now
Google satellite images show the degradation of the project site's wetlands over time.
Built in Resilience
‘Āinakūkoʻa O Waiohuli Kai, one of the last remaining wetlands on Maui, was surveyed in April
2020, where surveyors took note of the current flora and fauna before recommending the best
management practices to maintain the area. The land is mostly flat with low growing, windswept
vegetation and a few trees. Due to the ecosystem services delivered by this wetland, the coastline in the project area is one of the few where shoreline is accreting rather than eroding. By restoring native vegetation to this area, erosion decreases, habitat for native species come to life, and the community is reminded of the built-in resilience of the land.