TOPICS: SUSTAINABILITY

A comprehensive approach to value Waikīkī Beach

PI: Nori Tarui
Waikiki Beach is a huge economic driver for Hawaiʻi, but with increased erosion from sea-level rise, the optimal strategy for its upkeep is still debated. This study endeavors to estimate the value of Waikiki’s benefits to tourists, residents, and businesses, and evaluate the costs of different beach improvement options.

About the Center

"Smart Building" is the process of designing and constructing a structure while considering how it will interact with its inhabitants and its environment. Is it a nice place to work? Is it an efficient place to work? Does it take ...

April 15, 2014 Pauley Seminar

APRIL 15, 2014 PAULEY SEMINAR Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore Vice President Gore, known for his visionary leadership and decades of work on reducing the harmful impacts of climate change. He will be sharing his insights on renewable energy, ...

Assessing the vulnerability of coastal wastewater infrastructure to climate change

PI: Daniele Spirandelli
This research aimed, with community and agency stakeholders, to identify and map critical factors contributing to wastewater infrastructure vulnerability to a changing climate, particularly sea-level rise and extreme precipitation, and to develop a process that builds adaptive capacity into the system. Results showed groundwater inundation as a significant threat to sewer pipes, and a policy gap analysis identified discontinuities in key components of Hawaiʻi’s current onsite management program between land-use planning efforts and state siting regulations.

Differentiating treated and untreated wastewater contamination in a tropical coastal community using microbial community genomics

PI: Craig Nelson
There is growing concern that coastal ecosystems are threatened by sewage contamination of groundwaters. Using genomic methods, this project will examine the bacterial populations in the Keaukaha area of Hawaiʻi Island, to differentiate sources of contamination, and aid in management efforts to ameliorate sewage leakage.

Economic activity, technological progress, and water resource utilization on Oʻahu

PI: Peter Fuleky
These researchers are developing summary measures of economic conditions in various industries (especially tourism, health care, food, and agriculture) to establish the levels of dependency on the state’s limited water resources and likely future demand under various scenarios of economic, technological, and population change.

Effects of watershed restoration to traditional Hawaiian land use practices on health of nearshore coral reef ecosystems

PI: Robert Toonen
Reimplementation of traditional practices in the Heʻeia ahupuaʻa, in addition to invasive mangrove removal, has been predicted to support improvements to the coastal ecosystems of Kānoʻohe Bay. This study will examine effects on water quality and changes to coral reef health, in response to restoration efforts.

Enhancing social-ecological resilience and ecosystem services through restoration of coastal agroforestry systems

PI: Leah Bremer
Using ongoing restoration efforts at Heʻeia, Oʻahu, this research examines the ecological, economic, and cultural benefits of coastal agroforestry restoration in order to produce state-wide recommendations for prime locations to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services of high interest to agencies, funding sources, and communities.

Envisioning In Situ Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies for a Densely Developed Coastal Community, Waikiki

PI: Wendy Meguro
Waikiki, an economic hub for Hawaiʻi, is already subject to regularly flooding and faces an uncertain future with sea-level rise. This project will offer conceptual design renderings towards an “in-place” adaptation strategy, to help motivate large-scale planning for an adaptive environment in this densely developed coastal community.

External Websites

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home The Environmental Protection Agency site on Green Infrastructure. This site contains information to help you build and learn about national partnerships.The National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network is a collection of outreach ...

Fish Flow: Filling the gap between spawning and settlement

PI: Brian Bowen
This project aimed to track reef fish, using their genetic data, from where they spawned as larvae to where they settle on the reef, as a direct measure of population connectivity. Engaging student volunteers, the research team collected over 1500 samples of three target species across the Hawaiian islands. Using advanced genetic technology and computer-aided population connectivity texts, the team generated maps that illustrate that most adult reef fish in Kāneʻohe Bay originate from neighboring East Oʻahu reefs rather than from inside the bay, useful information for appropriate managers.

Fostering a SOEST culture of place-based and community-based pedagogy in support of coastal sustainability in Hawaiʻi

PI: Barbara Bruno
The goal of this project is to train geoscience faculty at UH Mānoa in place-based teaching practices in order for them, in turn, to train a diverse, local workforce and community to address the critical needs of our islands in enhancing coastal resilience and sustainability.

Green Infrastructure Practices

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home Green infrastructures have a lot of benefits and can be implemented during construction or as retrofits. On this page you can browse summaries on green infrastructures practices. Rain Garden/Bioretention Area Bioswale Permeable Pavements Flow-Through ...

Hehihehi management for microbial-mediated sediment removal in fishponds

PI: Kiana Frank
This study employs the modern tools of microbiology to examine the efficacy of a traditional management tool applied to today’s fishpond restoration efforts. The researcher is examining whether microbes may decompose pond-clogging sediment faster if aided by hehihehi, the traditional practice of stomping and mixing of the fishpond sediment.

Huli ‘ia

Huli ‘ia is an observational process documenting seasonal changes and shifts across entire landscapes, ma uka to ma kai (from the mountains to the ocean). Developed by Na Maka o Papahānaumokuākea, the Huli ‘ia process documents these natural changes over ...

Impacts of climate changes on a native and an invasive Hawaiian plant using a newly developed Intelligent Plant growing System (IPS)

PI: Camilo Mora
This study uses a previously-developed, affordable Intelligent Plant growing System (IPS) that employs automation technology to control climatic conditions precisely. For this project, the system will be applied to assess the viability of plants under multiple co-occurring climatic changes and prepare managers for future decision-making to cope with agricultural and vegetation issues as the climate shifts.

Integrating climate science with local knowledge through community vulnerability assessment on Kauaʻi

PI: Daniele Spirandelli
This study examines the opportunities and challenges of integrating coastal resilience into local community plans, using the County of Kauaʻi’s efforts as a case study. Researchers will combine broader climate science risk information with local knowledge to support statewide goals to prepare counties for future climate hazards.

Integration of next-generation sequencing into traditional Hawaiian practices to improve management and restoration of fishponds

PI: Robert Toonen
With Hawaiian fishponds as models of sustainable aquatic resource management, this study uses two important crab species, Portunus sanguinolentus hawaiiensis and Scylla serrata, to explore whether fishponds are self-seeding, importing, or exporting species, and whether traditional harvest practices continue to be viable. Early results show a broad diversity of crab sizes, with a possibility of tagging and tracking crabs outside the fishpond, as well as within.

Ka Pili Kai Fall 2016

Center of Excellence: Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience Center of Excellence: Marine Science Education Center of Excellence: Smart Building and Community Design Center of Excellence: Sustainable Coastal Tourism Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation To address the needs, ...

Ka Pili Kai Ho‘oilo 2018

Click on the cover image to view the full issue. Welcome to our inaugural issue of the new Ka Pili Kai! Embracing knowledge from generations past and present: For our dedicated readers who have been receiving and reading our quarterly ...

Ka Pili Kai Kau 2019

Click on the cover image to view the full issue. Ola I Ka Wai Water is Life The myriad issues surrounding water – water rights and law, water availability, changing climate and rainfall patterns, and understanding our aquifers in Hawai‘i ...

Ka Pili Kai Summer 2016

Hawai‘i ’s Water Resources Submarine Groundwater Discharge Water Resources Research Center Highlight: Dr. Aly El-Kadi UH Water Resources Research Center and Sea Grant Partner on $20 M Water Sustainability Project Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water on Hawai‘i Island The ...

Ka Pili Kai Winter 2016

50 Years of Putting Science to Work for Coastal Communities O‘ahu Maui Hawai‘i Island Kaua‘i Pacific Region 50 Years of Putting Science to Work for Coastal Communities In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed The National Sea Grant College and Program ...

Kulana Noi‘i

The Kūlana Noi‘i provide guidance for building and sustaining not just working partnerships but long-term relationships between communities and researchers. With support from the University of Hawai‘i SEED Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Success Program (IDEAS), the He‘eia National Estuarine ...

Land-based pollutants on Hawaiian reefs

PI: Megan Donahue
Increased military, agricultural, and residential development contaminates surrounding watersheds that feed into critical coastal ecosystems. This work examines land-based pollutants, such as metals and persistant organics, in coastal ecosystems and reef fish to understand how the pollutants are distributed and transported, with an eye toward better land management decisions.

March 2018 Lighting Workshop

Illuminating Engineering Society presents 2-days of immersion into the latest advances in LED lighting design and state of the art technologies, taught by Dr. Jack Curran, a nationally-recognized industry leader. March 28-29, 2018 8:00am - 4:00pm American Savings Tower 1001 ...

Microbial biogeochemical cycling across a chronosequence of mangrove introductions across Hawaiʻi

PI: Rosanna Alegado
Invasive mangroves harm Hawaiian coastal ecosystems, choking native plants, providing footholds for invasives, and generating leaf litter mounds inedible to Hawaiian species. This study investigates whether microbial communities can evolve to tackle the detritus and examines the resilience of our coastal ecosystems to mangrove invasion.

News & Events

A team of students from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa School of Architecture were one of two student teams to win a national design competion. They were students of Dr. Steve Meder, UH architecture professor and director of the ...

Ongoing Projects

Campus Spatial Survey and Integrated Planning Light Pollution in Hawaiʻi Delamping Initiative Forest City Military Community Energy Efficiency Monitoring Kuykendall Hall Water Resources Working Group ...

Pauley Seminars in Sustainability

PAULEY SEMINARS IN SUSTAINABILITY The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program periodically hosts speakers of the highest distinction through invitations to present a Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminar in Sustainability. The University’s most prestigious seminar series honors the Edwin ...

Podcast #1: Fish Flow

Meet Dr. Brian Bowen and Michael Hoban and learn about their project tracking important aquaculture fish species from egg production to the reefs where they settle and grow. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #1: Waterworks

Dr. Peter Fuleky and Sisi Zhang are conducting an innovative study to identify the relationship between economic conditions in different sectors (tourism, health, agriculture, etc.) and the state’s limited water resources. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #2: Resilient Communities

Dr. Daniele Spirandelli and Alisha Summers work with Kauaʻi communities to develop assessments of their vulnerability to developing coastal hazards associated with climate change. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #3: Urban understandings and changing coasts

Meet Dr. Daniele Spirandelli and Theresa Dean and delve into the vulnerability of Hawaiʻi's wastewater infrastructure to a changing climate. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #5: Seeds of Change

Dr. Camilo Mora and Devon DeBevoise are investigating the relative tolerance of invasive and endemic plants to growing with a wide range of water and temperature conditions that may occur with climate change. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #7: Hawaiian water

Meet Dr. Michael Roberts and Nathan DeMaagd and discover the intricacies of the economics of shifting water demands in the face of climate change. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #8: Microbial Mechanisms

Dr. Kiana Frank combines modern microbial biology with traditional fishpond management techniques to explore sediment removal from Hawaiian fishponds. Read more about her project here ...

Predicting Hawaiʻi water demand under climate change

PI: Michael Roberts
This project studied how climate change may affect future water demand on Oʻahu, focusing on variations in temperature, precipitation, and prevailing climatic conditions. Results imply that microclimates play an important role in demand, with the hot and dry area households using typically 100 gallons more per day than those in cooler, wetter aras. Using water billing data cross-referenced with fine-scale weather data, a model was developed that estimates the growth of Oʻahu aquifer yields needed to satisfy possible shifts in demand (up to 50% increase) under different climate scenarios, or alternatively, the price increases necessary to limit consumption levels.

Quality and Quanitity

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home Strategically placed Green Infrastructure (GI) Best Management Practices (BMP) can go a long way towards managing stormwater runoff from a water quality and flood mitigation perspective. As the development of urban and residential areas ...

Rainwater Catchment Project

What is Rainwater Catchment? Rainwater catchment is the capture of rainwater, most commonly in barrels or tanks, for household, landscape or commercial use. With proper design, maintenance and water treatment, a rainwater catchment system can provide water that is free ...

Resolving the Diet of Larval Marine Fishes to Accelerate Aquaculture Opportunities

PI: Brian Bowen
Demand for sea food increases while wild stocks dwindle, but marine aquaculture efforts struggle to raise fish larvae due to their highly selective, yet undetermined, food preferences. This project applies innovative DNA barcoding of larval intestinal contents to determine typical diets and thus enhance aquaculture opportunities to provide sustainable fish stocks.

Tools and Resources

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home The Hawaiʻi LID Atlas is a collection of alternative stormwater management practices currently installed across the state. The Atlas is hosted by the National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network and the University ...

Tracking groundwater nutrients using novel tracers to inform coastal watershed management in South Kohala, Hawaiʻi

PI: Henrietta Dulai
Using a combination of nitrogen isotopes and microcontaminants as source tracers, this project aims to identify pathways of groundwater flow to the coastline along South Kohala, Hawaiʻi, tracing sources of groundwater contaminants and excess nutrients. Managers can use results to improve wastewater management and improve coral reef resilience.