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Our Current Projects

Addressing land-based source pollution on the north shore of Kaua‘i

Water pollution from cesspools threatens the health, economy, and quality of life of residents of Hanalei and nearby communities. Cesspools, a type of antiquated wastewater treatment system where untreated sewage is discharged directly into the ground with minimal filtration, are still used across the Hawaiian Islands and Hanalei is home to over 150 cesspools. We partnered with the Hanalei Initiative to create a web map of existing wastewater systems in the region and rank their relative risk to the environment and human health. Click on the image to the left to view the map. This information is a resource for the community and will be used to prioritize cesspools for upgrades to more environmentally friendly systems. 

Uncovering the effects of tourism on the fishery of Hāʻena

This project seeks to quantify observed changes in the fish community in Hāʻena, Kauaʻi to the road closure resulting from the extreme flood event in April 2018 and more recently the cessation of tourism due to COVID-19. The perception of the community is that fishes in the area, particularly fishery species, became more abundant in response to the reduction of tourist activity in nearshore waters. To address this question, we have conducted surveys of fish abundance, behavior, and benthic (coral and algae) cover, and human use beginning in 2018. 

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