Integrating Culture and Science for Reef Restoration

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa: convening corals and people

It's all in the name. The Hawaiian word ʻĀkoʻakoʻa has two meanings: to bring together people, and to bring together corals. The ʻĀkoʻakoʻa Reef Restoration Program fuses cultural leadership, multi-modal education, advanced science, and government service to communities of corals and people on Hawaiʻi Island.

Chad Paishon and Greg Asner at Mahukona

Stewarding Coral Reefs: Why It Matters for Hawaiʻi

Coral reefs are foundational to Native Hawaiian culture and our heritage. That's why at ʻĀkoʻakoʻa we are dedicated to upholding their cultural significance through our initiatives to restore and sustain them.

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Coral Reef Restoration

Aerial drone of Kahaluu
A Foundation of Hawaiian Culture 

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa is built from a foundation of Hawaiian cultural knowledge, with our Cultural Advisors guiding our approach, and our regional and global knowledge exchanges serving to advance cultural leadership at all programmatic levels.

advanced scientific mapping tools
Cutting-Edge Science and Technology

Our scientific tools include the world’s most advanced sea-, air- and land-based mapping and environmental monitoring assets as well as high-definition land-reef modeling and ecosystem genetics.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa education on the shoreline
Multi-Modal Education

Our reefs need an interconnected network of empowered stewards who understand the problems their reefs are facing. To do this, we've developed comprehensive ridge to reef education informed by cultural heritage and the latest scientific understanding.

GAO map of Kawaehai harbor
Informing Policy Decisions with Novel Datasets and Transparency

Our government relations element focuses on cross-jurisdictional engagement and training, data provisioning to decision makers, and community-government liaison support.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa outreach and education

Empowering Communities Through Culturally-Based Reef Education

Long-term sustainable reef stewardship will only be achieved with culturally-based ridge to reef education and outreach. ʻĀkoʻakoʻa aims to build bridges between the best available science, the community's relationship with its natural environment, and the cultural foundation and importance of coral reefs to Hawaiʻi. Join us in protecting our reefs for future generations.


Open and Transparent Data for Action

We believe in sharing scientific data. Explore our latest findings and information on local and global threats to West Hawaiʻi's reefs, their condition, and how our community's decisions impact the future of the reef.

GAO map
ʻĀkoʻakoʻa culture advisors
Take Action

Support Future Generations by Joining Us

Become a part of the ʻĀkoʻakoʻa network and help protect our vibrant coral reefs. Join us in preserving the cultural heritage and ecological importance of these magnificent ecosystems.

Aerial view of Miloliʻi