Volunteers are invaluable stewards to 'Ahihi-Kina'u. In addition to guiding visitors to popular snorkel spots, volunteers also assist in the enforcement of Reserve rules and provide information regarding ocean safety, cultural significances, natural history, and reef etiquette. Daily shifts are available.
‘Ahihi-Kina‘u is located on the southwest corner of the island of Maui and was the first designated Natural Area Reserve in 1973. The 1,238 acres contain marine ecosystems (807 submereged acres), rare and fragile anchialine ponds, and lava fields from the last eruption of Haleakala 200-500 years ago. Native plant communities that include naio, wiliwili and native cotton exist in kipuka, or pockets, but are severly imperiled by the encroachment of weeds and feral ungulates such as goats. A coral reef survey done by the Division of Aquatic Resources in 2007 indicated that the reef community within the NAR boundary waters was the only reef from their test sites that was not declining overall. Preserving the integrity of the anchialine pools is a major management focus. All access to them is closed. Main threats to these wetlands include non-native invasives such as fish or prawns, feral ungulates such as deer and goats, and human disturbance.
'Ahihi-Kina'u NAR is managed by the State of Hawaii, Department of Land & Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. Learn more by visiting our official website.