The final West Maui Watershed Study was completed in May 2023. The Honolulu District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) partnered with the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) to jointly pursue watershed planning efforts for the West Maui Watershed in accordance with Section 729 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, Public Law 99-662, as amended. Section 729 authorizes the development of watershed plans that are multi-purpose and multi-objective in scope and developed in cooperation with Federal, State and local government entities.
The West Maui watershed study area covers approximately 24,000 acres, includes five watersheds (Wahikuli, Honokōwai, Kahana, Honokahua, and Honolua), and the coral reef habitat north of Lāhainā on the northwestern coast of the Island of Maui in the State of Hawai‘i. The objective of the study was to develop a list of recommendations for strategic implementation over the next 50 years that:
1) Reduces current and future pollutant sources.
2) Reduces current and future conveyance of pollutants that threaten West Maui coral reefs.
3) Reduce land-based pollution to the marine environment to increase resistance and resiliency of West Maui coral reefs for the next 50 years.
This comprehensive five-watershed management plan serves to guide future decision-making for DLNR-DAR and the growing West Maui community for the next 50 years. Recommendations for preservation and protection of cultural resources and for climate change resilience are also described.