Studies Relevant to Restoration Efforts
in Kawai Nui Marsh

KBAC RFP RT-01-06 (Stream/Wetlands Restoration)

‘Ahahui Mālama i ka Lōkahi (AML) received a grant from the Kailua Bay Advisory Council (KBAC) for studies and restoration efforts in Kawai Nui Marsh to run from December 2001 through June 2003 (extended through February 2004). The projects undertaken by AML take the approach that research on several aspects of the ecology of Kawai Nui is needed to support future wetland restoration efforts. The studies build upon ongoing efforts at Na Pōhaku o Hauwahine, where a community-initiated ecosystem restoration project has been underway since 1997. Two groups: ‘Ahahui Mālama i ka Lōkahi (AML) and Kawai Nui Heritage Foundation (KNHF) have been organizing the removal of alien vegetation and restoration of native plants to the lowland forest on a 12-acre parcel of State land. Part of that project involves removing, by hand, the vegetation covering an adjacent area of Kawai Nui marsh to create open water and replanting with various wetland plants. The hope for the wetland area is to establish an education/demonstration site, with a diverse mixture of open water, native vegetation, short nature trails, and varied habitat for wetland flora and fauna. In time, the planted and restored areas at Na Pohaku will become part of the area communities' long-term recreational and educational goals for Kawai Nui (see Kawainui Restoratioin Plan>.

Perhaps the greatest single benefit derived to date from on-going restoration efforts in Kawai Nui marsh by volunteers is a growing awareness of how the marsh responds to removal of the vegetation mat. This grant will attempt to translate that experience into useful data by applying scientific methodologies to acquire a better picture of the marsh as it exists today. The purpose and benefit of this study are to understand what restoration of the marsh will really mean, and make available to KBAC, the public, and government agencies an intimate picture of this largest wetland on O‘ahu. The study is important to KBAC because marine water quality enhancement efforts on Windward O‘ahu will ultimately come down to our ability as a community to create and restore the coastal wetlands that once protected marine resources of old Hawai‘i from man's activities on the watershed.

The main components of the grant proposal are:

  1. develop physical and chemical characterizations of the marsh through water column sampling, profiles, and recording arrays;
  2. experiment with confined sediment columns to observe changes in water-solid relationships of the organic rich sediments of the marsh under normal and low flow conditions;
  3. undertake limited biotic sampling to better understand where aquatic species are distributed across the marsh;
  4. restore, as a demonstration, water bird habitat on one islet located near the Oneawa (outlet) end of the marsh.

Because it is an important part of the KBAC mission to provide educational value from the findings of funded studies, results from this project will be distributed as a series of illustrated web pages. Links to these pages are presented in the outline below. The final report, prepared in 2004 and finalized in 2006, is available as a PDF document (see box on right below).


Table of Contents
Links to Project Websites

    Water Quality Water Quality
      click here Water and sediment monitoring locations (maps)
      click here Kawai Nui water quality data

    Water/Sediment Water, Soil, & Sediment Interactions
      click here Kawai Nui Water Level Measurements

    click here Biologists' Notebook

    click here Progress in wetland enhancement:

      click herePond B
      click herePond C

    click here Mitigation Islets ~ Wetland Restoration


Studies Relevant to Restoration Efforts
in Kawai Nui Marsh
KBAC RFP RT-01-06 (Stream/Wetlands Restoration)
Final Report Submitted by:
‘Ahahui Mālama i ka Lōkahi

    click here Cover and Table of Contents (3 pp)

    click here I Introduction (5 pp)
    click here II Setting and History (13 pp)
    click here III Structural aspects of Kawaimui Marsh (26 pp)
    click here IV Functional Aspects of Kawai Nui Marsh (42 pp)
    click here V Marsh Habitat Restoration Projects (10 pp)
    click here VI Discussion (10 pp)
    click here VII References (5 pp)

    click here Appendix A (30 pp)