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Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center - Our Kuleana

Kānewai Spring — protected for generations to come.

The Trust for Public Land and the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center have worked together to purchase and forever protect this fishpond, one of Honolulu’s last natural springs to still provide fresh, clean water to the shore.

Kūpuna say that Kānewai Spring is “where the mountain gives birth to the ocean,” because these headwaters flow into Kānewai Fishpond, then to Paikō Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, and finally Maunalua Bay. When the spring is in poor condition, they all suffer. Once overgrown, dark, and murky - Kānewai Spring and the surrounding land are now brimming with life thanks to seven years of hard work by the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center and hundreds of volunteers. And now, the site is permanently protected and owned/stewarded by the community via the nonprofit Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center.

Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center - Our Kuleana


Kalauhaʻihaʻi was the site of King Kamehameha and Queen Kaʻahumanu's royal kalo patch and former summer home before it was given to Alexander Adams, King Kamehameha's captain as part of the land grant of Niu. According to a 1975 interview with Mrs. Wayne Pflueger (the Pfluegers are descendants of Captain Adams), the area was known as Kalauhaʻihaʻi. It refers to Queen Ka'ahumanu's breaking of the kapus when she converted to Christianity. Mrs. Pflueger also mentioned the area was a resting place.

A break in the reef directly fronting the pond leads out to sea. According to Mr. Tad Hara, former owner between the early 70's-mid 90's, the site was said to have been used by whalers to supply their ships with cold, fresh water. He actively managed the fishpond until the State damaged the artesian water source across the street from the pond and condemned his property.

In 2021, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center worked with Rep. Mark Hashem of the State Legislature to secure $1 million to go to DLNR Engineering Branch for the reconnection and long awaited repair of the water flow at Kalauhaʻihaʻi

Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center


Nearly all of Hawai‘i’s freshwater springs have disappeared – many filled in for development, ending the fresh and salt water connection that is critical to the life cycle of many native species. In Kuli‘ou‘ou, we had a rare opportunity to permanently protect a fertile estuary that is home to rare freshwater limpets pipiwai and hapawai that cling to the Hawaiian drystack wall lining the spring, ‘ama‘ama (mullet) and āholehole (young Hawaiian flagtail) that feed on the prized green limu ‘ele‘ele that blankets the spring floor, native shrimp ‘opae ‘oeha‘a and ‘opae huna, and endangered ‘ae‘o (Hawaiian stilts) that feed in Kānewai Fishpond. This effort also protects the many cultural sites surrounding the spring including the mākāhā (fishpond sluice gate), and kū‘ula (fishing stone shrine) with an upright Kū stone balanced by a low Hina stone where the fishermen of old would have given offerings asking for a plentiful catch.

Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center

Our Team

Founder & Executive Director

Chris is a historian and veteran youth educator who serves as the president for the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center. Chris co-founded the organization in 2007. At the time, the last Hawaiian fishponds in the region were destined for auction and likely destruction. In 2010 he helped secure passage of Act 210 which protects publicly owned Hawaiian fishponds statewide. With guidance from the last surviving pond keepers from the area, he developed site-specific fishpond programs to serve local schools and community groups. Alongside his fellow board members, he continues to engage community at Kānewai and Kalauha‘iha‘i Fishponds to ensure these special places will thrive.


Angela is the fifth generation of the Reeves ʻOhana making their home in Kuliʻouʻou, Oʻahu. A 1999 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law with an Environmental Law Certificate, Angela currently practices family law. Angela also holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington. Following in the tradition of her ancestors, Angela is committed to protecting the natural and cultural resources remaining in Kuliʻouʻou and the surrounding communities.

Vice President

Max Mukai was born in Waialae and his Ohana is from Kuliouou. He is a kupa‘āina of the place his family has been for over 100 years. He graduated from Pepperdine University, with a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Business Administration. He has a passion for fishponds and teaching the community about the incredible innovation of the ancestors.


Born and raised in Niu, Jeannine’s ‘ohana is from Miloli‘i and have been lawai‘a (fishermen and women) for generations in Kona Hema. A 1976 graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Jeannine is passionate about the preservation of Hawaiian culture, its traditions, and language. She works at Queen’s Native Hawaiian Health Program and volunteers her time on several non-profit boards in the East Honolulu community. With 40 years of administrative work experience, Jeannine has utilized her effective organizational and secretarial skills as Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center’s Secretary since 2007.


Diane was raised in Ohio and moved to Hawaiʻi in 1978. A former registered nurse, Diane retired from The Queen’s Medical Center as Critical Care Nurse Manager and Staff Nurse. Diane holds a Master of Science Degree from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Diane has been involved in many community groups with a focus on Hawaiian paddling and sailing and healthy waters. She has paddled with Hui Nalu Canoe Club since 1981, and currently serves as the club treasurer. Diane is also a longtime member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. She was part of the crew that sailed the Hawaiian double-hulled canoe Hawaiʻiloa in Alaska in 1995, and now serves as a Logistics Committee Member for PVS’ Mālama Honua World Wide Voyage.


Brenda was raised in Waipi‘o (‘Ewa, O‘ahu) and started volunteering at He‘eia fishpond during holiday breaks from Occidental College, where she received her B.A. in Biology with a Marine Biology emphasis. While pursuing her M.S. in Marine Science from Hawai‘i Pacific University, she continued to work at He‘eia and had many opportunities to visit and volunteer at other loko i‘a. In 2013, she joined the team at Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo and currently facilitates a statewide network of fishpond stewardship organizations and practitioners


Raised initially on Ewa Sugar Plantation, her family moved to Niu, joining many Lucas relatives who have lived in the area for generations. After high school, Kaui spent nine years studying abroad before returning home. Working in residential remodeling allowed Kaui the flexibility to engage deeply with community organizations such as The Contemporary Museum, Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church, Angel Network Charities, Kako‘o ‘Oiwi, and The Outdoor Circle. She has been a board member of Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center since its inception. Kaui is passionate about community engagement in rehabilitation and implementation of sustainable resource management rooted in Hawaiian tradition.


Alyssa joined the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center Board of Directors in 2011. She has been actively involved in community-based watershed, coastal and marine projects for over 20 years. An environmental planner, Alyssa has worked on a variety of place-based conservation and restoration initiatives, specializing in long-range planning, project management, and partnership-building among nonprofit, government and private sectors. She holds degrees in natural resource planning, urban planning and geography, and currently works for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site.


Kimi was born and raised in Kaipāpa‘u (Ko‘olauloa, O‘ahu), and now resides with her ‘ohana in Ni‘u. She is a Department of Urban and Regional Planning Program MA Candidate at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her professional experience includes marine resource education, community planning, and Native Hawaiian higher education and training. She is honored to continue this work in the community that she is raising her family in.


Born and raised in Niu, O’ahu, Tia grew up hiking the mauka lands of Kuli’ou’ou and Niu and found her love for the ocean, swimming, surfing, fishing, and paddling in the waters of Maunalua Bay. She believes in the power of leading by example and staying true to one’s core values and beliefs. Holding firm to her Hawaiian roots, Tia believes in living basic values of ho‘ihi (respect), ho‘omanawanui (patience), ha‘aha‘a (humility), malama (caring), and ‘imi ‘ike (to seek knowledge), both at home and at work. For the last 11 years, Tia has worked at NOAA and is proud to do her part to support the stewardship of Hawaii’s ocean resources.

This is my home, this is my ʻāina, this is my responsibility.

Laura Kalaukapu Low Lucas Thompson was a lifetime resident of Niu, Oʻahu, and a renowned civic leader with a familial legacy of stewardship of Hawaiʻi’s lands and animals. She was a descendent of King Kamehameha who awarded the ahupuaʻa of Niu to Alexander Adams, another ancestor. Her father, Charles Lucas, was a dairyman and rancher before “development” in Niu took place. Laura formerly led the Hawaiian Humane Society as Executive Director, and was instrumental in numerous conservation and Hawaiian cultural efforts including getting the Manu O Kū (white tern) designated as the official bird of the City and County of Honolulu, and advising the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Alu Like, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Mālama Maunalua, Mālama Hawaiʻi, League of Women Voters, and the Koʻolau Mountain Watershed Partnership. Laura’s late husband Myron “Pinky” Thompson was a beloved social worker and community leader on many Native Hawaiian issues. We are so grateful to Uncle Pinky and Aunty Laura for their legacies, and especially to Laura for her leadership that laid the path for our organization.

Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center

Volunteer Opportunities

To volunteer at one of our community workdays, please select an event from the calendar on the right and follow the instructions. Once registered, ensure that you've completed the liability waiver as well. If you have any questions, please use the form below.


  • No drop offs at the site - please walk from parking locations
  • No unattended minors without parent/guardian present
  • There are no toilets or other services, please plan accordingly
  • Please DO bring sunscreen, water, and snacks


  • Kuliouou Beach Park for big groups
  • Holy Trinity (only on 3rd Saturday);
  • For Kalauha’iha’i, please park on East Halema’uma’u


Contact Us

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 240204
Honolulu, HI 96824-0204