Revitalizing Kaʻehu Bay
i Ka 'Āina - Ke Kai - Ka ʻIke Hawaiʻi
KAʻEHU is a nonprofit organization with the goal to restore the land and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian culture using a community-based, inclusive, family-oriented approach to environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture.
Our MISSION STATEMENT is to
1)Promote the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of the land area and natural resources at Kaʻehu Bay
2)Utilize the land and natural resources, in conjunction with other agencies and cultural organizations to promote, preserve and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian cultural activities.
HISTORY OF KAʻEHU
In 2009, community members requested assistance from the Trust for Public Lands to secure the parcel to avoid future development of high-end homes and or hotels. With help and support from Hawaiian Homesteaders, community organizations and leaders, politicians, and cultural practitioners, in 2012, The County of Maui and Trust for Public Lands worked together to secure the Ka'ehu Bay 64-shoreline acres in Paukukalo, Wailuku, Maui. The Paukukalo Coastland Wetlands is an undeveloped parcel that is rich in natural and cultural resources, along with native flora and fauna. The area provided agricultural crops that helped sustain the district. The offshore area is an estuary necessary for spawning fish, a place for monk seals to rest and play, and a birthing place for green sea turtles to nest and lay their eggs.
For the past 30 years, community organizations have been coming to this area with youth and families of Maui to restore ancient taro patches, clean the area, land restoration, maintain overgrowth, and provide team building exercises that integrate cultural education. Volunteers helped to harvest taro, taro leaf, coconuts, and other food crops and plants growing on the parcel. Maui Youth and Family Services, Maui Economic Opportunity MEO, and Neighborhood Place of Wailuku utilized the area for cultural and team building activities for their clients since the early 1990ʻs. The 64-acre property was owned by Wailuku Sugar Company and purchased by North Shore at Waiehu LLC in 2004 and then went into foreclosure in 2009.
The property provides ocean access and resources for traditional and cultural practices for the community. The streams and springs provide water flow to help sustain the area. It is our goal to restore the traditional food crops, lo'i and native plants that once filled this area. The fresh water springs are believed to have healing powers and are used by the areas kupuna (elders) and cultural groups to hi'uwai (cleanse) or heal. This area also includes popular surfing spots famed since the days of ruling chiefs.
The Paukukalo Coastal Wetlands are bordered by Iao and Waiehu Streams. This area was once filled with ancient taro patches, native flora and fauna, native trees, productive fishponds, two streams of fresh clean water, fresh water springs throughout the property, a bountiful ocean with plenty of limu (seaweed), and fish and ocean wildlife. There are significant cultural sites, including Makahiki grounds, throughout the property and this area was known for the “sacred lauhala grove”. This area was a playground for the aliʻi and was deemed kapu, sacred.
Over the past 30 years, board members of Kaʻehu and Kauahea Inc., along with the Trust for Public Lands, have collected data and input from the community regarding the area. The community input will help guide the planning and development process of this pristine area.
KAEHU is partnering with nonprofits and businesses to help restore the area and promote cultural practices and sustainable agriculture and development. Our partners include Kauahea Inc., Hale Hoʻolana, MAA (Makahiki Athletic Association), Aloha Missions, and PIKO (Planning Innovative Kommunities & Opportunities).
Monthly Community Work-Days
- 2nd Wednesday (Mālama ʻĀina) -
- 4th Sunday (Mālama Kai) -
- 9:00 am to 11:30 am -
Location: Meet at Ka`ehu Bay
600 Kukona Place #E , Wailuku
Drive inside, pass the yellow gate
Work Day Activities
Mālama ʻĀina - working and maintaining taro patches, restoration of streams, native plants, clearing overgrowth, removal of invasive species and more.
Mālama Kai - Beach Clean-up with Sharkastics clearing of Beach debris along the shore of Kaʻehu Bay.
What to Bring:
Hat & Shades
Reusable Water Flask
Gloves & tools will be provided.
The area can be windy, sunny and hot.
Family friendly area.
Social Distancing practiced.
To Volunteer -
All participants must register
BOARD & STAFF
Director of Sustainable Planning
Anuhea Miriam Arakawa
Program Assistant/Cultural Practitioner
Marie Elena Juario
Land Restoration Specialists
Calendar of Events
Kaʻehu Bay Beach Clean-Up
If you are interested in volunteering for a beach clean-up, please email: email@example.com