Maui Watershed
Sustainable Development Report

Maui, Hawaii


Maui Coastal Watershed

This page details the UN Sustainable Development Goals being addressed by the SeaTrees project in the HO’OWAIWAI Watershed on Maui, Hawaii.

Sustainable Development in Maui, Hawaii

SeaTrees has partnered with Regenerative Education Centers (REC) to support the regeneration of critical coastal watershed systems, known in the Hawaiian language as an Ahupua’a, in Maui, Hawaii. This project protects 10,000 sq-ft of the HO’OWAIWAI Watershed.

The two Mokus (or districts) within the Ahupua’a coastal watershed systems, Maliko Gulch and Launiupoko, have faced decades of mismanagement. In Maliko Gulch, the valley within the gulch served as a dumping ground for the past 100 years.

Creating Sustainable Benefits

Key Impact Metrics

- Jobs to the local community

- 40,000+ lbs of food grown and given away to the local community

- Educational opportunities to the local community and visiting schools

- Protects critical habitat in the watershed and offshore coral reefs

- Protects vulnerable species

Sustainable Development Goals addressed by the project

SeaTrees evaluates this project annually to measure its impact on all relevant Sustainable Development Goals. The HO’OWAIWAI Watershed project addresses 6 SDGs. Read below for more details.

Zero Hunger

Regenerative Education Centers works directly with the local community to develop sustainable agriculture initiatives, which benefit the health of community members as well as the planet.

Approximately 40,000 lbs of food and produce, grown without any fertilizer or pesticides, is given away to the local community through this restoration project.

Quality Education

Educating the world and the local community about restoration and regenerative practices is at the heart of of REC’s work. This project creates opportunities for the local community to learn about their local Hawaiian lands, get involved, and see what healthy ecosystems look like.  

This project offers educational experiences for students and homeschooled students to visit the restoration project and learn about the regenerative agriculture techniques we are using to heal the land.

Clean Water

Historic mismanagement and overdevelopment of this watershed have led to significant water quality issues as the streams have become polluted with runoff.

Through our watershed restoration and the implementation of regenerative agriculture methods, we are reducing the soil erosion and sedimentation entering the streams, resulting in direct improvements and protection of the reefs systems that are located at the end of the watershed. Improving this water quality also improves critical habitats for local species, thus protecting the local biodiversity.

Climate Action

This restoration involves the removal of invasive species from the restoration sites and replanting the area with native and voyaging plants.

Through this process, a significant amount of carbon is sequestered back into the ground by the native plants we are planting back into the watershed.

Life Below Water

This project restores and maintains the land by direct restoration of the stream bed and regenerative agricultural practices, which provides protection for the neighboring offshore coral reefs.

Without this watershed acting as a filter to the reefs, the coral reefs would become suffocated by sedimentation runoff and survival rates in both the reefs, and the countless marine species that call these reefs home, would decrease. 

Life on Land

For years, trash has been dumped in the Maliko Gulch and Launiupoko. This restoration effort focuses specifically on removing trash and invasive species (plant and animal), and growing native and voyaging plant species (a mix of trees, shrubs, and grasses) in critical areas within the watershed. 

This process holds the land together, reducing soil erosion and sedimentation runoff into the streams. After removing invasive species from the restoration sites, REC replants the area with native and voyaging plants.