On Monday July 13, 2015, Governor Ige signed HB 393 into law to facilitate the restoration of traditional Hawaiian loko i'a (fishponds). This law waives the requirement to obtain water quality certification for projects authorized under the state programmatic general permit, and greatly simplifies the process of restoration based on cultural practice.
Lāna'i was the first community to engage in action permitted under the new law - and the 9 acre pond at Waia'ōpae is now being restored.
Ancient Fishpond to be Restored (PDF) — The Maui News by Chris Sugidono, page 1 and A-4 July 14, 2015.
‘Ōhiki at Waia’ōpae. Kepā Maly, photo. August 13, 2015.
Work continues. Kepā Maly, photo. August 13, 2015.
Full view of Waia’ōpae Fishpond. Kepā Maly, photo. August 13, 2015.
While more than 100 years of sedimentation have buried the reef and clogged the pores, preventing freshwater from entering the pond. Work here over the last couple of months has already loosened the sedimentation, and marine life is returning to the protection of the pond.
Group photo before starting work. Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat, photo. August 13, 2015.
Ola hou ka loko i’a kuapā o Waia’ōpae. Pūlama Lāna‘i Culture & Historic Preservation staff along with Four Seasons, and Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center Community volunteers continue working at Waia’opae Fishpond to bring this valuable cultural property back to the traditional management system for Lāna‘i’s near shore fishery resources.
Also visit this link for the E ‘Ike Hou Iā Lāna‘i summer 2015 program where students started work on this Waia’ōpae Fishpond restoration project.