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Hawaii: Ka Wai Ola O Waiance- The Living Waters of Waiance (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary and links below provide a description and documentation of a Kailua, Hawaii project that received a Level I Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2008, and a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement in 2011. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Wai’anaee Coast Oahu (2008)
Kailua, Hawaii
EPA Region 9

The Wai’anaee Coast Oahu is the recipient of a Level I CARE Cooperative Agreement. The Pacific American Foundation (PAF) is a non-profit organization that will be the lead for the CARE Wai’anaee Coast Oahu project. PAF serves the interest of Native Hawaiians for the purpose of planning, conducting, or administering programs for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The CARE project will assess the impact of humans and pollutants on four area streams - Nanakuli, Ulehawa, Kaupuni, and Makaha - by gathering and consolidating existing water quality data and conducting site walks to gather visual data. Some human activities in and near streams adversely affect subsistence fishing, and recreational use of the Wai’anaee coast near-shore waters. Some of the environmental impacts are runoff from agricultural lands (which includes pollutants or toxics such as silt, herbicides, pesticides, and animal wastes), runoff from urban lands (which include toxics such as oils, grease, and paint products), pollution from dumping trash in streambeds, and bioaccumulation of mercury in fish along the Wai’anaee coast.

Prospective CARE Partners: City & County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services Storm Water System, Chaminade University Environmental Studies, Makaha.

Ka Wai Ola O Waiance- The Living Waters of Waiance (2011)
Kailua, Hawaii
Region 9

Representative Jordan talks with EPA and Ka Wai Ola O Waianae to discuss illegal dumping and non-point source pollution along the Waianae Coast.

Ka Wai Ola O Waiance - The Living Waters of Waiance project - is the recipient of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement, building on a 2008 successful level I project. The Pacific American Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit organization, will be the organization leading this project. PAF has emerged as one of the leaders in the Native Hawaiian community in developing culture and place-based educational curricula (K-12), teacher professional development, mentoring, and career planning. The district of Waianae is recognized as one of the six traditional districts on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Within the Waianae district there are nine ahupuaa, four of the most populated are: Nankuli, Lualualei, Waianae, and Makaha. The work proposed under this CARE level II project focuses on caring for the land and water resources of these four ahupuaa, designated in this project as the Waianae Coast. The people living along the Waianae Coast face many environmental justice issues. The high percentage of minority and low-income populations along the Waianae Coast, along with the co-location of a power plant, an industrial park, Waimanalo Gulch solid waste landfill, a construction-debris landfill, and several military-use areas, epitomizes an environmental injustice area. Two community liaisons that have lived along the Waianae Coast their entire lives engaged their community to form the Ka Wai Ola O Waianae advisory committee through outreach to family, friends and local leaders. Through community-based consensus, the advisory committee decided to combine some of the environmental issues and prioritize for action as follows:

  • Illegal dumping in and near streams
  • Inactive and active landfills
  • Non-point source pollution into streams and ocean

The Ka Wai Ola O Waianae level II project will engage the community to care for their environment, educate the community on how their actions impact their environment and how they can mitigate those impacts, execute activities in the community to reduce pollutants and evaluate for success in changing behaviors and preventing future pollution.

Established CARE Partners: State of Hawaii Department of Health, Schnitzer, Planning Solutions Incorporated, Leeward Kai Canoe Club, Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, KAHEA-The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, and Kupu.