West Maui

The West Maui Ridge to Reef (R2R) Initiative is an all- encompassing approach across multiple agencies and organizations to address adverse impacts to coral reefs in West Maui. The State recognized that an integrated and comprehensive approach to reduce land-based sources of pollution is one of the most important steps to help restore coral reef ecosystems. The R2R Initiative builds on already established efforts underway and leverages resources across a number of agencies and community groups to implement actions to reduce one of the key sources of reef decline – land-based sources of pollution.


R2R Objective

To restore and enhance the health and resiliency of West Maui coral reefs and near-shore waters through the reduction of land-based pollution threats from the summit of Pu`u Kukui to the outer reef. These efforts will be guided by the values and traditions of West Maui. WMR2R_logo

Priority Status: The Hawaii Coral Reef Strategy identified the coral reef ecosystem along the West Maui region as a priority management area. The US Coral Reef Task Force designated the West Maui Watershed as a priority partnership in the Pacific in 2011, focusing on Wahikuli and Honokōwai watersheds. The full R2R project area includes 24,000 acres from Kā`anapali northward to Honolua and from the summit of Pu`u Kukui to the outer reef.

Ongoing and future work: The watershed management plan for Wahikuli and Honokōwai was completed in Dec. 2012 and is now in the implementation phase. Planning for Kahana, Honokohua and Honolua watersheds is underway and will be completed by 2015. The draft watershed management plan for the next phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Click Here for the West Maui Priority Area Overview

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Local Advisory Body

The Working Group supports the R2R Initiative by serving as a local body providing community input to the FUnding and Agency Support Team (FAST). Its members represent key interests in West Maui, such as agriculture, land development, resort operation, soil conservation, traditional Native Hawaiian knowledge, non-profit marine conservation, recreational ocean users, Maui County and fishing.


West Maui Watershed Coordinator

Tova Callender

[email protected]wm working group

These partner agencies and organizations below form the Funding and Agency Support Team (FAST), which is the leadership body for the West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative. The FAST meets monthly to provide oversight in managing funds, prioritize activities and develop strategies to achieve the R2R goals.

More information about the R2R can be found at the website- www.westmauiR2R.com


Project Manager, West Maui Watershed Study:

Athline Clark, US Army Corps of Engineers,  [email protected]

State of Hawaii Contact:  

Emma Anders, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources: [email protected]

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West Maui Kumuwai

A Social Marketing Approach to Action West Maui Kumuwai is committed to protecting what we love: the ocean and our way of life here on West Maui. Our focus is on reducing land-based sources of pollution through personal action and community collaboration. We shine a spotlight on the actions of everyday people and community heroes to promote the health of our ocean. We tell stories about what’s happening in our community. We hold events where you can lend a hand alongside your neighbor. But most of all, we offer ways in which you can help curb the amount of pollutants that are harming our ocean—and we try to make those actions easy enough to do. We’re talking about things that you can do at home or in your yard, like the type of fertilizer you use or picking up after your pooch. For more information: www.westmauikumuwai.org west maui kumuwai

Wahikuli-Honokōwai Watershed Management Plan


West Maui Projects (2013-2014)

Funded by NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program awards to the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources.
Click Here for an overview of the West Maui Priority Area.

projects completed 2013-2014

Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area

Project Summary: Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area

The Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) was established by DAR in 2009 to control the overabundance of alien and native marine algae by increasing the abundance of herbivorous fishes and sea urchins. Under KHFMA rules, it is illegal to take any herbivorous species and fish feeding is prohibited.

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Installing curb inlet baskets to reduce pollution

Project Summary: Installing curb inlet baskets to reduce pollutions 

An environmental consulting firm led this project where seven debris and pollutant screening baskets were installed in the storm drain system by Kā‘anapali Operators Assoc.  Ongoing monitoring is taking place to test maintenance time and volume of debris removal to inform expanding installations to other coastal areas.

curb inlet

Rain gardens at beach parks

Project Summary: Rain garden design, installation, and signage at Pohaku Beach Park 

A rain garden is an intentionally created flat bottom depression planted with natives positioned to receive, treat and infiltrate runoff from impervious surfaces, in this case, shower and parking lot runoff. This garden  provides a visible example of a low impact design practice that homeowners or business can implement with minimal expense and time.


Reef Friendly Landscape Management Plan

Checklist: Reef Friendly Landscape Management Plan 

In southern Kā‘anapali, Landscape designers Ki Concepts worked with 7 resort properties to tighten chemical applications in landscaping to reduce runoff to coastal ecosystems through site specific management plans.  Participating properties included the Hyatt, Westin Maui Spa & Resort, KOA, the Marriot Maui Ocean Club, Whalers Village, SGS Landscaping (who works with Westin KOR and Honua Kai) and Aston Maui Kā‘anapali Villas.  In addition to analysis for each property, another outcome is a checklist to guide other properties towards ocean friendly practices.


West Maui Wildfire Mitigation Planning

Project summary: West Maui Wildfire Mitigation Planning 

Hawaii Wildfire Management organization has created a plan in cooperation with landowners and fire management professionals to address preparation for a rapid response following a fire to reduce mass erosion on newly burned land.  In addition, they authored a Western Maui Community Wildfire Protection Plan which assesses fire risk by neighborhood, proposed measures for prevention, and makes the West Maui community eligible for federal grants if a fire does occur.

Constructed wetland analysis and design

Constructed wetland analysis and design

Sediment Retention Retrofitting the Honokõwai Dam

Project Summary: Sediment Retention at Honokōwai Structure #8 

A detailed analysis of the physical systems related to Honokōwai Dam is needed as a first step to understanding if retrofit measures  that would reduce the movement of fine particles into the ocean following rainfall are viable.  A team of professors and graduate students from the University of Hawaii headed up this study, which included watershed and sediment modeling.dam retrofit

Agricultural Road Improvement