Community volunteers conduct fishpond restoration
Kiholo Fishpond Volunteer workdays hasten fishpond restoration. © Nancy Erger

Stories in Hawaii

Working with Partners to Restore Essential Habitat

The actions we take today will impact the condition of Hawai'i’s reefs and fisheries…in our own lifetimes and long into the future.

In partnership with local community groups and government agencies, TNC takes direct action to restore essential habitats and enhance coastal protection. The efforts blend science and traditional management systems to demonstrate effective management with strong support from community volunteers, academic institutions, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • At Ka'ūpūlehu, Polanui, Puakō, and in East Maui, we are working to reduce the flow of land-based pollution that threaten the health of reefs, while promoting pono fishing practices that sustain Hawaiʻi’s unique culture and marine life.
  • At Kīholo Preserve, we are revitalizing an ancient fishpond to provide habitat for juvenile fish species and invertebrates and rejuvenate traditional aquaculture practices.
  • In Heʻeia, we are removing invasive vegetation and replanting the wetlands with traditional lo‘i kalo (taro fields), which retain and are nourished by the sediments and nutrients that would otherwise flow onto Kaneʻohe Bay’s reefs.

Increasing evidence shows that these locally-based collaborative efforts improve management and enhance sustainability. Here in Hawaiʻi, they are also helping to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and increase local food security. That's why we support the efforts of dozens of community groups working to restore coral reefs and fisheries and ancient fishponds through peer learning networks.