NOAA announces $8M grant for Maunalua Bay project

NOAA announces $8M grant for Maunalua Bay project

Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it had awarded an $8-million grant to a project currently underway in the Maunalua bay region. According to the announcement, the project will improve health of the bay and watersheds that flow in it. It will also provide a blueprint for other areas in Hawaii and broader Pacific.

Maunalua Bay, located in East Honolulu has been declared an "impaired" waterbody by the Hawaii Department of Health. According to an announcement, the project will be focused on the Niu Kuliouou and Wailupe Watersheds and include native plant reforestation and green infrastructure installation, as well as stream rehabilitation.

Doug Harper, executive Director of Malama Maunalua told PBN that "there are many actions that can be taken to restore the health of Maunalua bay, but the main issue is the poor quality of the water. This poor quality of the water is mostly, if it is not entirely, due to terrestrial sources."

The project is organized by Malama Maunalua. This community-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to the conservation of Maunalua Bay. Project collaborators also include the Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership (KMWP), Protect and Preserve Hawaii (P&P), Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife (3Rwater), Aloha Tree Alliance and others.

Harper stated that "our partners will receive the majority of funding. This includes planting climate resilient coral, redesigning a few streams to better catch pollution and runoff and undertaking reforestation and green infrastructure in urban areas."