Wetlands Restoration Is Fulfilling a Community Vision

Agricultural changes to the Heeia wetlands, once known for abundant taro crops and naturally healthy fishponds, resulted in increased runoff, invasive species, and sedimentation. Concerned community members consulted with local elders and the broader community to create a vision for restoring the wetland. Funding from the Hawaii Coastal Program and NOAA went toward a 2010-2015 strategic restoration plan that also takes into account potential impacts of climate change.

More than 400 acres on the windward side of Oahu, Hawaii, are being restored. The project is strengthening the community’s traditional agricultural economy, improving nearshore water quality, and preparing the area for climate change. Clearing and cultivation work performed by volunteers is now yielding taro. The Heeia Wetlands Restoration Project is a role model for other coastal communities. (2016)

Partners: Hawaii Coastal Program, NOAA Office for Coastal Management