TOPICS: MANAGEMENT

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.

Amouli Village Meeting

In this episode we’re talking about village life in American Samoa. We talk with the mayor of Amouli Village about Samoan village traditions, and we attend a village meeting where climate change and fishing pressures are changing how locals manage ...

Building on the Shore

In this episode, we’re learning about coastal erosion and how it affects homes built near the shore. We explore the coastline with Hawai’i Sea Grant Extension Agent, Ruby Pap, and County of Kauai planner, Kaʻaina Hull, to see what happens when buildings are ...

Climate Change Impacts in Hawaii

The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program  prepared this climate change impacts report to provide Hawai‘i communities with a foundational understanding of the effects of global climate change on Hawai‘i’s resources and ecosystems. The report presents a summary of ...

Coastal Erosion on Maui

In this episode, we're looking at eroding beaches of West Maui, where large condos are being threatened by loss of sand and sea-level rise with Hawai’i Sea Grant Coastal Hazards Expert Tara Owens and Maui County planner, Jim Buika. Watch ...

Collaborative investigation of hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between wastewater and land-use and the oceanic waters of Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

PI: Craig Glenn
This project examined the environmental and health risks of wastewater leakage from on-site sewage disposal systems, by assessing the hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between wastewaters and ocean waters of Kāneʻohe Bay using field studies and pioneering thermal infrared imaging mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The remote sensing enabled the team to produce high-resolution maps of groundwater and wastewater leakage from local septic systems into waters of the Kahaluʻu watershed and Kānaʻohe Bay. A local-scale model was developed from sixteen months of data that will help inform remediation strategies to address wastewater leakage problems in the area.

Collaborative investigation of hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between wastewaters and other land-uses and the ocean waters of Waialua Bay, Oʻahu

PI: Craig Glenn
This project assesses the hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between on-site sewage disposal system wastewaters and the oceanic waters around the greater Waialua Bay area, Oʻahu, to help develop a more complete understanding of the environmental and health risks of wastewater leakage.

Collaborative Study of Groundwater Transport Paths and Discharge Loads of Wastewaters and Other Land-Uses that Impact the Ewa Coastal Zones of West Oahu

PI: Craig Glenn
On-site sewage disposal systems threaten groundwater quality via the release of untreated sewage effluent to the environment. This work plans to use remote sensing techniques with field studies to establish groundwater flow paths and contaminant transport around Ewa Beach, Oʻahu, to aid in future remediation strategizing.

Contaminated Conservation Area

In this episode, we're looking at the effect of sewage injection wells on the health of Maui's coral reefs. We're at Kahekili Beach Park with researchers, managers, and community activists to learn what members of the community can do to ...

Defining Ecosystem-based Management Boundaries Using Genetics and Fisheries Data

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: ROBERT TOONEN Graduate Student: Johanna Wren The exchange of individuals among populations, termed connectivity, is a central element of population persistence and maintenance of genetic diversity, and influences most ecological and evolutionary phenomena. To date, field studies of ...

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.

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.

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.

Identifying hot spots of sewage pollution in Hilo, Hawaiʻi

PI: Tracy Wiegner
Hawaiʻi banned new cesspools in 2015, but groundwater contamination from the remaining 8700 cesspools in the Hilo area is a continuing concern. This work will use dye tracer studies to track cesspool outflows and use sewage indicators to establish contaminant sources to coastal groundwaters to inform future management decisions.

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.

Investigating the origin and impact of sedimentation on the health of Hawaiian mesophotic reefs for sustainable coastal development

PI: Robert Toonen
This project continues collecting data from mesophotic zones (30-180 m depths) around Oʻahu and West Maui to update models and develop predictive maps of coral and invasive algae distribution, in order to help managers and policymakers choose best strategies for coastal development and runoff control to protect these vulnerable low-light ecosystems.

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 Spring 2016

Humpback Whale Vocal Communications Between Mothers and Calves Wastewater’s Influence on Coastal Groundwater Quality and the Health of Coral Reefs in Maunalua Bay, O‘ahu Attack of the Drones: Characterizing Groundwater Discharge on Maui Using the Latest Research Tools Simulating Sea-Level ...

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 ...

Knowledge of the Past

We meet with elders from the island of Moorea, in French Polynesia. We learn about the Te Pu 'Atiti'a Center and how it is helping to perpetuate local knowledge and traditions. The elders tell us about changes to the ocean ...

Mapping the Freshwater of Hawaiʻi

In this episode, we learn how scientists use chemical signatures to track the flow of freshwater underground and into the ocean as part of the ‘Ike Wai project’s work to map and model the aquifer system of underground, stored freshwater ...

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.

Mitigating climate change impacts: What drives thermal resiliency in Hawaiʻi’s coral reefs?

PI: Ruth Gates
This study aimed to understand the biology and physiology of corals, their symbiotic algae, and microbial communities that underpin different responses to bleaching events, why some coral colonies survive bleaching and others do not. Thermal resilience was tested in four coral species important to Hawaiʻi, examining the role of morphology, tissue thickness, and behavior of bacterial communities in bleaching recovery. Results showed that after two weeks at high heat, rice coral (Montipora capitate) was most resistant to bleaching, although all four species returned to normal after four weeks of recovery time. Most susceptible to bleaching was the lace coral (Pocillopora acuta), which has the thinnest tissues.

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 #13: Waialua Wastewater

Jordan Mason and Lucas Ellison work with Dr. Craig Glenn using drones to explore possible pollution of Waialua Bay from local on-site sewage disposal systems leaking into groundwater that flows to the bay. 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 #4: Wave Runup

Dr. Martin Guiles and Camilla Tognacchini explore the risks to west Maui of inundation and increased erosion from ordinary ocean waves as base-line sea levels rise. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #5: The two-to-three-day rule

Meet Dr. Craig Nelson and Krissy Remple and hear about their attempts to develop a new rapid, cost-effective tool to determine water quality where groundwater contamination might occur. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #6: Filter feeders

Meet Dr. Brian Popp and Leilei Shih as they describe their project to evaluate the role of a recent invasive sponge population in Kāneʻohe Bay--for bad or good. 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 ...

Podcast #9: Mesophotic Mapping

Dr. Rob Toonen and Evan Barba explore sediment distribution across the sensitive ecosystems of the mesophotic zone and its connection to land use management decisions. Read more about their project here ...

Predicting and mapping Hawaiian mesophotic coral ecosystems for sustainable coastal development

PI: Robert Toonen
This study sought to address our fundamental lack of knowledge regarding vulnerable low-light, mesophotic coral ecosystems (at depths of 30-180 m) in order to better manage impacts from invasive species, coastal development, and exploration. By using statistical modeling, combined with machine learning, researchers created predictive maps to illustrate the distribution of mesophotic reefs and invasive algae across the main Hawaiian Islands. They found that all islands had some stretches of coastline identified as highly susceptible to invasion of the green alga Avrainvillea amadelpha, in both shallow and mesophotic depths.

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.

Source tracking coastal groundwater and runoff contamination with microbial genomics and dissolved organic fluorometry

PI: Craig Nelson
This project focused on using new techniques of microbial genomics and fluorescent characterization of organic matter to track sources of groundwater contamination in several important Hawaiian watersheds, in order to provide tools to protect streams, groundwater, and coastal ecosystems. The high density of cesspools in Hawaiʻi is a potentially significant source of contamination to streams and coral reefs, but it is currently prohibitive to identify contamination sources. For this project, hundreds of water samples from Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi have been collected and are being characterized to develop microbial source tracking and better testing techniques.

Super corals in Kāneʻohe Bay provide hope for survival of coral reefs around the globe

May 16, 2019 (Honolulu, HI) – A journal article published this week by researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology concluded that naturally occurring super corals in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O‘ahu are ...

Testing Freshwater

We’re working with Hawai'i Sea Grant researchers and graduate students to examine the water quality of freshwater as it heads to the ocean. Freshwater travels in streams and underground, picking up pollution from our cesspools and agricultural run-off. We take ...

The role of sponges in nitrogen cycling in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

PI: Brian Popp
This study focused on quantifying respiration, pumping rates, and chemical reactions of an invasive sponge, Mycale grandis, to understand the species’ impacts on nitrogen cycling in the coastal environment of Kāne‘ohe Bay, whether adding or subtracting usable nitrogen from the system. Researchers found that the M. grandis sponge can pump 83 times its own volume of water per day, giving its associated microbial communities abundant opportunity to perform nitrification, converting ammonia to forms of nitrogen oxides unusable to algae. The rapid nitrogen transformations with the high pumping rates of these sponges means this invasive species may play a significant role in nitrogen concentrations in the bay.

The use of a euryhaline Tilapia to assess the endocrine disrupting effects of anthropogenic chemicals on growth and osmoregulation of a tropical teleost species inhabiting coastal waters and wetlands in Hawaiʻi and the tropics

PI: Andre Seale
This work sought to understand the integrated physiological and developmental effects of endocrine-disrupting agricultural chemicals on the tropical euryhaline tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. Mozambique tilapia are widely used for aquaculture production so this research may better inform those interested in the effects of these waterborne chemicals on the growth and health of these fish. It will also provide critical information towards proper management of pesticide use and water resources to mitigate the effects of these agricultural chemicals on aquatic wildlife in general.

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.

Vulnerability of Coastal Ecosystems to Increased Salinity from Climate Change

PI: Kasey Barton
Critical Hawaiian coastal habitats are at risk from climate change impacts, particularly sea-level rise, which threaten protective coastal plant species. This work examines the salinity tolerance of native, and invasive, coastal plants to identify those in need of greater management and conservation action.

West Maui wave run-up forecasts

PI: Douglas Luther
This project plans to develop short-term forecast models of wave-driven inundation “run-up” events for West Maui, to help managers, emergency management personnel, and the public cope with the increasing hazards of flooding events, and associated erosion, driven by wave activity superimposed on rising sea levels.