Corps of Engineers Kawainui Marsh Restoration Ponds Project
The Kawainui Marsh Restoration Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) started construction in June, 2012. The COE created a series of 11 shallow fresh-water ponds in the former pasture lands below Castle Hospital and the Kukanono subdivision of Kailua. Maunawili Stream bisects the two management areas. Mahalo to the late Senator Daniel Inouye for keeping the funding for this project alive.
The COE’s contractor cleared out the thick California grass and other invasive plants and created berms from the on-site soil. The design calls for eleven ponds with solar-powered water pumps connected to shallow wells. The water elevation in the ponds will be maintained to encourage use by the Ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt) and other endangered Hawaiian waterbirds and migratory water birds. The entire area of the ponds will be fenced to keep out predators. The State Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) has taken over the ponds and maintains them. There are no cattle in Kawainui any more.
So if you are driving by the bridge over Maunawili Stream you will see the ponds area in upper Kawainui Marsh.
Visitors to Ahahui’s restoration site at Na Pohaku o Hauwahine along Kapa’a Quarry Road can obtain an excellent view of the ponds. The image on this page was created by a student to show what the ponds might look like when all the ponds are filled.
Ahahui looks forward to seeing many native and migratory water birds using these ponds and thereby increasing the population of these endangered species.