The Hawaii Stream Research Center has initiated a cooperative 3-year research project which brings together the University of Hawaii, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and the State Division of Aquatic Resources. This project is focused in 1005 acre Limahuli Valley, located on Kauai's northern shore. In this unique Hawaiian stream valley, the National Tropical Botanical Garden has embarked on an ambitious campaign to develop active watershed management strategies which will protect and enhance, in perpetuity, Limahuli's biological diversity. Educating residents and visitors alike about the uniqueness and fragility of Hawaiian ecosystems is a primary goal of this exceptional program.

As part of this management project, we have overlayed stream studies whose goal is to develop an understanding of how this single stream system functions as an ecological unit within the Limahuli watershed. In order to accomplish this, we are developing stream monitoring technologies which are designed to track changing physical and biological components within Limahuli stream over time. In doing so, we hope to understand the ecological processes functioning in Hawaiian streams and how these processes interact with watersheds and localized weather variation. The technologies we develop, can later be applied to streams statewide and be transferred to agencies responsible for resource management and protection.

Developing an understanding of the natural dynamics of water and nutrient fluxes between watersheds, riparian areas, and streams, is a critical prerequisite to the development of management strategies designed to mitigate human-induced impacts on Hawaii's water resources. This information is essential to resource managers who must be able to predict the outcome of their land-based decisions on surface and ground water resources. By then shaping resource management philosophy and policy, in both public and private sectors, a working management system can be developed for the Hawaiian Islands which will allocate resources equitably yet promote long-term water resource sustainability.

Stream Monitoring
Stream Surveys
Aquatic Organisms
Conference Papers
Islands Survey