That’s why The Nature Conservancy works with individual community groups, government partners, and regional coalitions to develop and apply science-based solutions that improve coastal management and support healthy, sustainable communities. These efforts—from the restoration of coastal lands and ancient fishponds to the removal of invasive species—guide and strengthen nearshore marine management across the state.
Collaborating with Communities
Increasing evidence shows that locally-based collaborative efforts improve marine management success and sustainability. Fortunately, more than two dozen community groups around the state are pursuing co-management of marine areas with the State of Hawai'i. With a deep understanding of ancient Hawaiian management practices and an increasing pool of scientific data, these groups are working to restore ancestral fishing areas.
Together with our partners at the local non-profit Kua'āina Ulu 'Auamo (KUA), The Nature Conservancy supports these communities by providing them with scientific data, tools, and guidance to strengthen and measure their management activities. The information also helps communities meet requirements for formal protection such as the Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA) designation. A legacy of Governor John Waihe'e’s administration, CBSFAs “protect and reaffirm fishing practices customarily and traditionally exercised for purposes of native Hawaiian subsistence and culture”.
Teaming with Government Partners
Conservancy scientists also provide data, tools, and guidance to HawaiʻI’s Division of Aquatic Resources and the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission to improve management of places such as ‘Ahihi-Kinau, Molokini, and Kahoolawe. We also collaborate with non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies, including the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to restore reefs and fisheries along Maui and Hawaiʻi Island coasts.