HTA Grant Enables Restoration of 3 Anchialine Pools Within Kekaha Kai State Park

Volunteers are invited to participate in a community workday and free fun activities to help restore the natural ecosystem of three anchialine pools in the Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park on Saturday, July 29. A beach cleanup is also part of the day’s events.

Showing two photographs of the current condition of the pool that is location of restoration work on Saturday, as well as a photograph of what the pool looked like in the 1990s before the tsunami.

The restoration project will involve removing the non-native plant and fish species, built-up sediment, and sand that was deposited as a result of the 2011 tsunami in a portion of the large pool/fishpond located at Ka‘elehuluhulu Beach in the Mahai‘ula section of the park.

The day will feature the first on-site work that has taken place as part of the anchialine pool restoration project made possible by an HTA grant. The work day represents the culmination of two years of planning and preparation for this project

Its purpose is to restore the anchialine pool ecosystems so that the native red shrimp (‘opae‘ula) can return to the anchialine pools. Guppies and sediment are currently preventing the opae’ula from living in the pools.

The DLNR Division of State Parks was awarded a $10,000 grant by the HTA Natural Resources Program grant that is administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and supplies for the restoration project. Grant money will also be used to develop educational materials related to the anchialine pools so that they can be used to teach school groups about the pools while on field trips to the park.

Future community work days like the one on Saturday will be scheduled.  Division of State Parks also plans to partner with a few local schools to teach students about anchialine pools and get them involved in the restoration efforts

Schedule for the day and directions:

  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – sign-in with morning coffee courtesy Kona Coffee and Tea
  • 8 to 9 a.m. – morning beach yoga with Alyssa from Soul Shape Yoga
  • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – anchialine pool restoration work
  • 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. – potluck lunch – bring a dish to share
  • 12:30 to 3 p.m. – beach cleanup with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Slackline fun with Jesse from SlackHi

Directions: take the road to Mahai‘ula section of Kekaha Kai State Park to the parking lot at the very end of the road. Bring water and reef-safe sunscreen. Gloves and equipment will be provided. Please bring a refillable water bottle, potluck dish and beach chair.

Mahalo for support from:  Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, Soul Shape Yoga, Hawai‘i Kombucha, Kona Coffee & Tea, and Slackline fun.

For more information call Dena Sedar, Division of State Parks at (808) 209-0977.

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