Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve is the largest private nature preserve in the state of Hawaiʻi. Extending across more than 9,000 acres from ma uka to ma kai of Mauna Kahālāwai on Mauiʻs West side, it is home to some of the rarest endangered flora and fauna in the islands. This pristine area is a vital water source for Mauiʻs community and one of the wettest spots on earth. Most recently, under new management, the ancestral wisdom of Hawaiian elders has been laid as the foundation for conservation efforts in the preserve; providing a culturally sensitive and informed approach to managing the thriving native ecosystem of Puʻu Kukui. Conservation endeavors include non-native invasive species control, weed control, monitoring, research and most importantly protecting rare species.
Honolua Bay was chosen as the first stop on the Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail because it was the location where the Hōkūleʻa’s maiden voyage to Tahiti was launched in 1976. In partnership with the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. through the conservation department of the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve, State of Hawaiʻi DLNR, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Kamehameha Schools Maui, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia crew members engaged with schools and the community in West Maui where they conducted presentations and canoe tours. On Saturday, August 19, crew members joined the community and participated in a project to plant 4,000 koa trees and thousands of other native plants in the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve ma kai conservation area. At one time, koa trees were used to make voyaging canoes, but today there are few of these native trees remaining which are large enough to do so.
Mahalo to the sponsors who make the Hokule’a weekend a success.