Kuleana Coral Restoration works to map, research and restore coral around O‘ahu using a variety of techniques.
Lāʻie native Kapono Kaluhiokalani has spent much of his life in and around the ocean. As he got older, he noticed changes caused by natural disasters, climate change and land mismanagement.
“I got to see a slow degradation of the coral reefs, also of our fish supply. What used to be plentiful and big and abundant wasn’t so much as it was before,” says Kaluhiokalani.
That inspired him and others to start Kuleana Coral Restoration in 2019 “to give back to the ocean for providing for us for so long.”
The nonprofit maps, researches and restores coral around O‘ahu, and educates local communities. Its current restoration sites are at Ko Olina and Pōkaʻī Bay, and it has community partners to do coral restoration on Maui, Kaluhiokalani says.
The nonprofit uses camera systems and computers to track and map coral sites and applies traditional Hawaiian practices based on the data collected.
The group is seeking other nonprofits and community groups that would benefit from marine monitoring and mapping beyond the shoreline.
Kaluhiokalani says anyone can help with coral restoration: Go out and “create a relationship with the ocean, with coral reefs. When you create that relationship, now you develop responsibility to take care of it.”
Kuleana Coral Reefs