The County of Maui and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are currently conducting a feasibility study for the proposed Mokuhinia Ecosystem Restoration Project in the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawai`i.
Historically, Loko o Mokuhinia was an approximately 17-acre pond, one in a series of coastal wetlands along the western shoreline of Maui. Within the pond was the island of Moku`ula, which was the preferred residence of high ranking ali`i (chiefs) of Maui through the mid-1800s. This area also has great religious and cultural significance as the residence of Kihawahine, a mo`o akua (lizard-like goddess) and spiritual guardian of the royal family.
In 1913, the pond was filled and turned over to the County of Maui for the establishment of Malu`ulu o Lele Park. Loko o Mokuhinia and Moku`ula currently lie approximately two to three feet under the ground surface of the park.
The Mokuhinia Ecosystem Restoration Project specifically addresses the proposed restoration of Loko o Mokuhinia, one component of a larger effort by the County of Maui and the Friends of Moku`ula to preserve and restore the overall site. The objective of the project is to restore the pond and associated wetlands to provide aquatic habitat functions and values, in support of the subsequent cultural revitalization of Mokuhinia and Moku`ula by the native Hawaiian community.