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About Hanalei Watershed Hui

Hanalei Watershed Hui is a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental organization that strives to care for the Ahupua’a of Hanalei, Waioli, Waipa, and Waikoko guided by Hawaiian and other principles of sustainability and stewardship, integrity and balance, cooperation and aloha, cultural equity, and mutual respect. 

History: The Hanalei Watershed Hui (the Hui), was established in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to implement the Hanalei American Heritage River Program and Hanalei Watershed Action Plan. The Hui has focused its effort and funding awards on the assessment and restoration of the natural, cultural and economic assets of Hanalei. Recent projects include a continuing water quality monitoring program, restoration of the Okolehao Trail, replacement of aging cesspools in the riparian zone of the Hanalei River and the establishment of the Hanalei Makai Watch Program. The Hui also offers a continuing cultural education program which highlights watershed stewardship and kuleana curriculum. The Hui partners with Federal, State, County, NGO and community organizations and residents to address issues and concerns raised by the community and scientific assessment. 


Vision: The environment of Hanalei is wholesome. The waters are fishable, swimmable, clean, and support native species and fisheries. The coral reefs are healthy and productive. The forests are restored with Hawaiian plants and animals. The cultures, traditions, and history of Hanalei are appreciated, vibrant, and influential. The economy of Hanalei is diversified, balanced, and sustainable. The community, including our youth and visitors, are educated and active stewards of Hanalei by supporting this vision.



  • The natural resources of the Hanalei Watershed are healthy and preserved for the future.

  • The economy of the Hanalei Watershed is diversified and sustainable.

  • Preservation of the culture and traditions of the Hanalei Watershed guide planning and decisions.

Areas of Focus (selected in a 2008 update to the Hanalei Watershed Hui Strategic Plan):

  • Insure water to Hanalei famers

  • Improve water quality in Hanalei River and Bay

  • Sustainable fishery

  • Develop integrated resource management plan, mauka to makai

  • Get the cars off the beach

  • Enforce the no wake zones in the Hanalei River and Bay

  • Develop a Hanalei Reef Name map

  • No big boats in Hanalei

  • Teach youth about their place and kuleana


Hui Executive Director

Barbara “Maka‘ala” Ka‘aumoana was born in Kāne‘ohe, Hawai‘i in 1948. Educated throughout the Pacific and California, she pursued careers in both nursing and public school teaching before returning “home” in 1989. Always active in environmental education and conservation organizations and activities, she soon became involved in local projects supporting community management of cultural and environmental resources. In 1999 she was elected by the Hanalei community to head the newly formed Hanalei River Hui.

Maka‘ala believes in community participation and transparent process and has continued to guide this organization through the founding of the nonprofit, Hanalei Watershed Hui, and the development and implementation of the Hanalei Watershed Action Plan, the Targeted Watershed Initiative project, the Hanalei Makai Watch Program, Hanalei Watershed Management Plan, and the Hanalei to Hā‘ena Disaster Resilience Plan. Maka‘ala and her husband, a native Hawaiian, live on the north shore of Kaua‘i, have a small banana farm, and enjoy fishing and family time.

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