Kaunakakai Harbor

Kaunakakai Harbor is located on the south-central coast of the island of Moloka’i. The harbor is a commercial and recreational harbor, operated by both the State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Recreation (DOBOR) and Department of Transportation Harbors Division (DOT-H), respectively.  The commercial harbor is the federal project that was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1935 and DOT-H is the local non-federal sponsor.  The project is in the operations and maintenance phase.

The project was completed in 1934 at a Federal cost of $103,200. The project consists of a basin that is 1,500 feet long, 600 feet wide, and 23 feet deep. 

Kaunakakai Harbor is the primary commercial harbor on Moloka’i and receives the delivery of food, fuel and supplies by barge, the other harbor being Kalaupapa Harbor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the project depths in the entrance channel and turning basin area.  Maintenance dredging was done in 1973 and 2024.  The most recent dredging removed approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sediment so vessels could safely enter, exit, and maneuver within the harbor.


Suspended Sediment in Kaunakakai Harbor Video

Suspended Sediment in the Kaunakakai Harbor Video (November 2022)  

Maintenance dredging of the Kaunakakai Harbor will help to reduce the amount of sediment (sand and mud) that gets kicked up each time vessels operate in the harbor as shown in the video linked above.