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Hawaii Water Quality Extension Program
nps 319 | oahu watersheds | kawainui | project hamakua marsh
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Natural Resources Extension

Project Name: Hamakua Marsh Ecosystem Restoration and Community Development Project
ASO Log No.:  
Start/End Date: June 2001 to June 2002
Federal Funds:  
Matching Funds:  
Contractor: State of HawaiiDepartment of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the
Hawaii Chapter of the Wildlife Society
In 1952, a canal was built along the entire length of the Kawainui Marsh and past Hamakua Marsh. This canal replaced Kawainui Stream and was thirty yards wide and three yards deep, to helps in flood control. This caused Hamakua Marsh to dry out more. One reason the canal was built was to increase drainage to provide more pastureland on the upper edge of Kawainui Marsh. It also provided flood-free land for housing on the makai (ocean side) of the canal. Due to flooding in 1987, the berm was raised 10 feet. This blocked off Kawainui Stream for good. Hamakua is now dying as a wetland. Currently, the community is hoping to protect, sustain, and enhance Hamakua Marsh.
Objectives/Goals: To restore habitat for native Hawaiian water birds and migratory shorebirds in Hamakua Marsh, and to involve local organizations, businesses, schools, county, state and federal agencies in the process so as to integrate the wildlife sanctuary into the fabric of the community.
Methods Employed: • Remove introduced mangrove
• Clear 4 acres of ? along streambank
• Plant 1000 wetland plants
• Design and implement a water quality monitoring program for the marsh and adjacent Kawainui Stream
• Integrate information learned into 6th grade curriculum and into Koolaupoko watershed database
• Research into the technical feasibility of drilling a well to supply water to bird colonies
• Design educational signs and brochures
• Build a web site
Pollutants of Concern: Turbidity, pH, Nitrate, Phosphate
Watershed: Kawainui, island of Oahu
Size of Project: 22.7 acres
Affected Water Bodies: Hamakua Marsh
Deliverables: • Web site:
• Photos of project activities
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Cooperative Extension Service programs, conducted in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, are provided to the people of Hawaii without regard to race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University is an equal opportunity / affirmative action institution.