Muliwai & Wetland Watch
What is a Wetland?
Wetlands are lands periodically covered or saturated by fresh or salt water and characterized by:
· Hydrology (water): from precipitation, surface flow or shallow groundwater.
- Soils: poorly drained and saturated or covered with water for at least two weeks a year.
- Vegetation (plants): adapted to grow, reproduce, and persist in water or saturated soils.
Wetlands can be seasonal or permanent, and are found in landscapes such as depressions, coastal shorelines, fringes along running or standing water, and Hawaii’s cloud forests. Wetlands are home to almost one third of threatened and endangered species in the U.S. In the Hawaiian language, wai means water. Many places in Hawai‘i are named for wetlands and the extraordinary species that live there: Waikiki, Wai‘alae, Waikoloa, Waiāhole, Waipi‘o and countless more.
Natural wetlands* most common in Hawai‘i:
- Riverine wetlands are surface water systems found along the edge of rivers or streams. These areas are critical to the endemic koloa maoli.
- Palustrine wetlands, such a marshes and bogs, are found in depressions where rain or groundwater collects. Hawaii’s rare montane bogs take millions of years to form.
- Estuarine wetlands, such as swamps and mudflats, occur on coasts where streams empty into the ocean. These tidally influenced brackish (mixed fresh & salt water) areas provide habitat for fish, shellfish and waterbirds.
- Marine wetlands, such as intertidal shorelines, seagrass beds, or tidepools, are saltwater systems, and provide habitat for many species harvested by humans for food.
Other Aquatic Habitats in Hawai‘i
- Anchialine pools are land-locked systems in porous lava or limestone on coastal shorelines. These brackish pools are connected underground to both fresh and salt water, and are home to native shrimp like ‘ōpae ‘ula.
- Aquaculture Habitats are wet areas created or modified for growing food, including wet taro (kalo) grown in a lo‘i (paddy) and fish ponds. These areas are used by native species, but usually lack the biodiversity and habitat functions found in natural wetlands.
Note: *Wetland Classification: The Cowardin Classification System is a descriptive method developed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service that defines wetlands according to their landscape position and water source. Within broad classes are wetlands known by common names: marsh, bog, mudflat, and swamp. Visit: www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/wetlands/classwet.
Source: Pacific Coast Joint Venture
What is a Muliwai?
1. John R.K. Clark: “Pool of brackish water formed by the separation of a stream mouth from the ocean by a sand bar.”
2. Mary Kawena Pukui: “River, river mouth, pool near mouth of a stream, as behind a sand bar, enlarged by ocean water left there by high tide; estuary.”
South Maui Muliwai & Wetland Monitor
Soil Condition: Wet / Dry
Water Condition: Wet / Dry
- ‘Alae ke’oke’o – Fulica alai – Hawaiian Coot
- ‘Auku’u – Nycticorax nycticorax – Black-crowned Night Heron
- Ae‘o – Himantopus mexicanus knudseni – Hawaiian Stilt
- Odonata – Damselflies & Dragonflies
- Kaluhā – Bolboschoenus maritimus – Makai sedge, Saltmarsh bulrush
- ʻĀkulikuli – Sesuvium portulacastrum – Sea pursalane
- ‘Aki’aki – Sporobolus virginicus – Beach dropseed, Seashore rushgrass
- Makaloa – Cyperus laevigatus – Smooth flatsedge
- Invasive Species:
- Human Impacts:
- “Hope Spots”:
Citizen Scientist Name:
Maui Nui Wetlands
- Sailor’s Hat (anchialine pond unintentionally created by a simulated nuclear explosion)
- Miki & Palawai Basins (lost)
- ʻĀhihi-Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve (DLNR) anchialine ponds are closed to the public
- Cape Hanamanioa (anchialine ponds)
- Kanahā Pond Waterbird Sanctuary (DLNR)
- Kanaio Natural Area Reserve
- Ke’anae Point
- Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge (USFWS) http://www.fws.gov/kealiapond/
- Kīhei (lost)
- Ki’owaiokiha/Violet Lake (Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve)
- Makena State Park (DLNR)
- Maluaka Wetlands (North Pu’u Ola’i Wetlands)
- Middle Pu’u Ola’i Wetlands
- Paniaka Fishpond (South Pu’u Ola’i Wetlands)
- Nu’u Salt Pond & Wetland
- Paukūkalo Wetland – Wa’ehu
- Pu’u Eke
- Pu’u Kukui
- Ukumehame Firing Range
- Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Preserve (Hawaiian Islands Coastal Land Trust) http://www.hilt.org/protected-lands/maui/waihee-refuge/
Restored & Mitigated Wetlands
- Azeka Mitigation Pond (Azeka Shopping Center, Kīhei)
- Kulānihāko’i Gulch (Keiki O Ka ‘Aina Eco. Village Ohana, Kīhei)
- La’ie Wetland Restoration Project (S. Kihei Road, Kīhei)
- Longs Mitigation Pond (Longs Shopping Center, Kīhei)
Muliwai of South Maui (all in Kīhei)
- Kalama Park
- Kulānihāko’i Gulch at Kaonoulu
- Kulanihakoi Gulch (Waipuilani North)
- Waipuilani (Waipuilani South)
- Waipuilani Middle Remnant Wetland
- Big Bog (Haleakalā National Park)
- Flat Top Bog (Haleakalā National Park)
- Greensword Bog (Haleakalā National Park)
- Mid Camp Bog (Haleakalā National Park)
- New Bog (Haleakalā National Park)
- State Bog (Hana Forest Reserve)
- Kaa Seasonal Wetland, Mokio Preserve, West Moloka’i
- Kakahai‘a National Wildlife Refuge (USFWS) http://www.fws.gov/kakahaia/
- Kaunakakai Wasterwater Reclamation Facility (constructed wetland)
- Koheo Wetland (salt marsh)
- ‘Ohia’apilo Pond Bird Sanctuary (brackish)
Erickson, Terrell A. (Terrell Ann), Hawaii wetland field guide: an ecological and identification guide to wetlands and wetland plants of the Hawaiian islands. © 2006 U.S. Environmental Protect Agency. Distributed by Bess Press Books, Honolulu, HI.
Giambelluca, T.W., Q. Chen, A.G. Frazier, J.P. Price, Y.-L. Chen, P.-S. Chu, J.K. Eischeid, and D.M. Delparte, 2012: Online Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00228.1.
Maui Ocean Stewards
Pacific Coast Joint Venture
Rick Long, 2013, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike CC BY-SA