The Nānākuli muliwai (estuary) is a wetland at the mouth of Nānākuli Valley located at the popular beach known as Zablan's. Obscured by a "bridge to nowhere," and called "stink pond" for generations, it has a somewhat mysterious history. But as we learn more about it and literally dig deeper, we cannot help to be further intrigued. What did it look like 100 years ago? Was it healthy and did it supply the community with fish and limu (seaweed)? Did it connect to the upper valley all year round? How did it change and why? What was its traditional name? These and more questions are some that we and our students ask as we visit and learn from this outdoor classroom.
While we study, we also try to make things better. We have begun to remove some of the invasive pickleweed in test plots and replant these areas with native Hawaiian plants adapted to this type of environment. We are learning and taking data as we go.. We are also clearing human-caused debris that is not only an eyesore, it is dangerous to aquatic and marine life.
We plan to work with the community at this muliwai for an extended period of time, and gradually have the community take back kuleana (responsibility and privilege) toward using this place that has been neglected for far too long. We welcome volunteers as individuals and in groups to work with us. Please contact us at info(at)malamalearningcenter.org for future work dates or to set up something special for your group. More information about this project and involvement of students can be found here.