This goal will be met through actions from the partner agencies and organizations listed below.
State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are sponsoring the development of the plan for the West Maui Watershed Ridge to Reef Initiative. The proposed 24,000-acre West Maui Watershed study area extends from Kā`anapali northward to Honolua and from the summit of Pu`u Kukui to the outer reef. It includes the watersheds of Wahikuli, Honokōwai, Kahana, Honokahua, and Honolua.
In February 2011, the US Coral Reef Task Force designated the Kā`anapali – Kahekili area within the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative as a priority watershed partnership, allowing for federal agencies to provide funding and technical assistance to the State. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are all providing assistance to implement a suite of integrated activities to improve the health of West Maui’s reefs.
The DLNR and USACE-funded initiative will provide a comprehensive plan to reduce land-based pollution. The plan will include activities that other agencies, organizations and the community can undertake to contribute to the goal and suggestions for further research. The plan for the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative will be completed by 2015. The plan will build on activities already underway in West Maui and a wealth of existing information, past actions and lessons learned.
Click here to view the WMR2R handout.
Click here to view the West Maui Ridge 2 Reef website.
Click here for a diagram of activities and partnerships in the region.
USACE Reconnaissance Report and Mapbook.
The Wahikuli-Honokowai Watershed Management Plan (WMP) is an initial evaluation being conducted as part of the partnership for the West Maui Watershed Plan. The WMP is being developed for two West Maui watersheds, Honokowai and Wahikuli, located in the Ka‘anapali-Kahekili Region, to address the impacts of land-based pollutants on coral reefs. Sustainable Resources Group Intn’l, Inc. (SRGII) is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), its project partners (i.e., State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR-DAR); State of Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH); US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); and West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership (WMMWP), and other stakeholders to develop the WMP. The WMP will be prepared using EPA’s nine required elements for watershed plans.
The primary objectives of the WMP are to identify sources of land-based pollutants and develop actions to remediate them to reduce stress on coral reefs. Land-based pollutants include sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants that are transported in surface and ground water and deposited in the ocean. Pollutant sources are the result of a watershed’s land uses, its physical condition, and human activities. They may include fertilizers and pesticides; erosion from unvegetated areas and unstable stream channels; petrochemicals; and partially treated sewage.The WMP will focus on lands located between the shoreline and mid-elevations of the two watersheds. This area is comprised primarily of urban resort properties and fallow agricultural lands that may be developed in the future.
The results will be used to help prioritize actions that could be implemented by the partners in the West Maui Watershed Plan and/or the community. The larger West Maui Watershed Plan will incorporate the Wahikuli-Honokowai WMP and expand on it in geographic scope and detail, including addressing priority data gaps identified in the WMP.
For more information: Wahikuli-Honokowai Watershed Management Plan
NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and The Nature Conservancy on Maui have been working on individual Conservation Action Plans (CAP) for Kahekili Beach Park area, Molokini, and Kahoolawe. The goal of these CAPs ares to develop priority strategies for implementation to address existing and future threats facing coral reef ecosystems in these regions. The first workshop was held August 30-September 3, 2011. Second workshop on Conservation Strategies was held on November 15-17, 2011. The third workshop on Measures & Capacity was held on January 23-26, 2012. The CAP team met again a year later in January 2013. CAP teams for each location identified targets to protect, current resource status, priority threats and strategies to address those threats. The Kahekili CAP will be used in the Wahikuli-Honokowai Watershed Management Plan.
The West Maui Coastal Use Mapping Project is designed to fill a critical information gap in ocean management by mapping significant human uses of the nearshore ocean area in the Honolua – Wahikuli region. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the spatial range and intensity of key human activities and use-types in this region in order to better inform resource management. A participatory mapping workshop was held in August 2011 with local resource users, scientists, and stakeholders. Final data from the workshop, a mapbook and an online map provide information to inform local management processes including, the Kahekili CAP and the West Maui Watershed Plan. An online interactive mapping tool of the results launched in the State’s Office of Planning website in the fall of 2012.
Mapbook: West Maui Coastal Uses Mapbook (pdf)
ArcGIS map: ArcGIS map
In the summer of 2009 the state of Hawaii declared Kahekili reef an Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) where all take of herbivorous fish and urchins is now prohibited. KHFMA is located off north Ka'anapali. The northern boundary is a straight line extending 1292 yards west from Honokowai Beach Park, the southern boundary is a straight line extending 335 yards west from Hanaka'o'o Beach, and the seaward boundary is a straight line connecting the seaward endpoints of the northern and southern boundaries, as shown. Permitted: To fish for, injure, kill, possess, or remove any finfish or invertebrate, except prohibited species indicated below. To use bait or other attractants while fishing for permitted marine life. Prohibited: To injure, kill, possess, or remove any rudderfish (nenue), parrotfish (uhu), or surgeonfish. To injure, kill, possess, or remove any sea urchin. To feed or deliberately introduce any attractant, directly to or in the vicinity of any marine life, except while fishing for permitted marine life.
A Makai Watch program for Kaʻanapali/Kahekili, encompassing the newly established Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) has been formed and while still in the early stages of development, it is being co-coordinated by representatives from NOAA, the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) and Project S.E.A.-Link. Efforts focus on 1) citizen science utilizing the Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal, developed in support of DAR's HEA grazing protocols and other community-based monitoring efforts, 2) outreach and education in support of the KHFMA and 3) general outreach and education efforts which promote marine resources stewardship by all stakeholders.
Coral reefs around Maui Island have experienced rapid and severe declines in coral cover over the past 10-15 years (Williams et al. 2008). A 2009- 2010 Maui Wide Study investigating colony scale dynamics showed that patterns and causes of coral decline are site specific. “Dead zones” or areas of nearly 100% mortality of the coral Porites compressa have been observed at Kahekili Beach Park Maui, one of the degraded sites from the previous study. The site has a history of macro-algal blooms (Smith et al. 2005) and input of nutrient rich water via injection wells located at the Lahaina Wastewater Treatment facility just North of the site (Dailer et al. 2010). The goal of this study was to map the distribution of areas of low, intermediate and high levels of degradation and to monitor colonies to determine whether mortality is ongoing and if so to identify potential causes of mortality. Information on processes causing declines in coral coverage will allow more effective management to prevent, slow or reverse declines.
The West Maui Coral Reef Initiative (WMCRI) is a focused effort of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address LBSP threats arising from agricultural activities in western Maui watersheds. The initiative is providing assistance to agricultural producers and other non-federal land managers to improve management of agricultural runoff and other natural resource concerns. The initiative is aiming to install best management practices for 2,500 acres of land having high risk for soil erosion concerns, and 260 acres of land with high risk of water quality degradation.NRCS WMCRI Fact Sheet
On November 20, 1998, state and private landowners officially formed the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership. 50,000 acres of forest and watershed vegetation occupy the summit and slopes of the West Maui Mountains. Management priorities for this land include: feral animal control, weed control, human activities management, public education & awareness, water and watershed monitoring, management coordination improvements.
Watershed partnerships are voluntary alliances of public and private landowners committed to the common value of protecting large areas of forested watersheds for water recharge and conservation values. While the members of the partnership have different priorities, mandates, and constituencies, all share this common commitment.
For more information: WMMWP website
CWRM is establishing measurable interim in-stream flow standards (IIFS) for streasm within the study area in accordance ith the requirements of the State Water Code and CWRM-approved methodology. CWRM will also be engaged in drought mitigation planning as part of its ongoing drought program. IIFS-setting and drought mitigation planning efforts will be done concurrently with the development of the West Maui Watershed Plan.
USGS Study (Current):Low-Flow Characteristics for Streams in the Lahaina District of West Maui, Hawaii
USGS Study (Completed):Groundwater Availability in the Lahaina District, Maui