Southwest Maui Watershed Plan
The Watershed Plan:
SOUTHWEST MAUI WATERSHED PLAN
The Southwest Maui Watershed Plan (Plan) was developed for the Central Maui County Soil and Water Conservation District (CMSWCD) in 2019 by Maui Environmental Consulting, LLC to provide pollution reduction measures for the 49,688 acre planning area comprised of the Hapapa, Wailea and Mo’oloa watersheds. The area extends from the summit of Haleakalā to the coastal areas of Kihei, Wailea, and Makena. Implementation projects developed by the Plan are meant to improve water quality throughout the watershed.
The Plan was recognized as a priority watershed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) Clean Water Branch (CWB) in 2019. Because of this, the Plan is eligible for Federal 319 Grant Program funds and the various projects for improving water quality within the watershed are able to be implemented using this and other funding resources.
Various pollutant reducing projects are included in the Plan. In agricultural areas, projects were designed to focus on reducing sediment pollution from feral ungulates. In the urban corridor associated with Kihei, Wailea, and Makena, the Plan provides projects focusing on nutrients and pathogens.
Key stakeholders in the SMWP include but are not limited to Maui County, Central Maui Soil and Water Conservation District, Olinda-Kula Soil and Water Conservation District, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) – Division of Forestry and Wildlife, DLNR – Division of Aquatic Resources, DLNR – Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, Haleakala Ranch, Ka’ono’ulu Ranch, Kihei Community Association, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, Kula Community Association, Maui Environmental Consulting, LLC, Maui Surfrider Foundation, Thompson Ranch, Ulupalakua Ranch, Aha Moku O Kula Makai, Honua'ula Moku, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, United States Coast Guard, USACE, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Maui County Fire Department, Hawaii Department of Transportation, Maui Visitor’s Bureau, Maui Tourism Authority, Boat/Tour Companies, Coral Reef Alliance, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Maui Cultural Lands, Maui Electric Company, Pacific Whale Foundation, Monsanto, various golf courses and resorts, and the residents and businesses of the Kula, Keokea, Kihei, Wailea, and Makena communities.
CREATING A WATERSHED COORDINATOR
Michael Reyes was named as the Watershed Coordinator in 2017. The Watershed Coordinator assists in communications with the EPA, the DOH CWB, CMSWCD and independent contractors to address the main goals of the Southwest Maui Watershed Plan. These goals include:
Improving Water Quality by Reducing Existing Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen Loads
Promoting Aquifer Recharge
Managing Rural and Agricultural Lands
Managing Urban Ares
Protecting and Managing Riparian Corridors
Resiliency - Fire and Flooding Control Measures
Watershed Coordination and Community Outreach
While the Central Maui Soil and Water Conservation District is primarily responsible for implementing the Plan, the entire community falling within the watershed boundary is potentially affected by the implementation projects being proposed. Public health, water quality and clarity, flooding of public roads and private property, habitat for listed species and overall ecological health, the fishing and tourist industries, hotels, resorts, small businesses and the community as a whole will be positively affected by implementation of the Plan.