Uniting culture, science, and community

Restoring coral reefs and our community's relationship to them in West Hawai'i

Chad Paishon near the waters edge

Protecting Our Coral Reefs

Scientific interventions for diagnosing and restoring the beauty and biodiversity of our coral reefs.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa diver swimming over the reef

Developing Reef Stewards

Growing the community and learners' knowledge of coral reefs and their restoration.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa education on the shoreline

Supporting Reef Decision-Making

Inter-agency collaboration for informed decisions to protect and restore our coral reefs.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa government action

Stewarding Change in a Time of Threats

Coral reefs are among the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet. In Hawaiʻi they are under threat from warming oceans that drive mass bleaching events, from coastal pollution that disrupts reproduction, and from over-fishing that destabilizes the natural balance of the ecosystem.

ʻĀkoʻakoʻa diver swimming over the reef
Our Circle: The Essence of ʻĀkoʻakoʻa

Uniting for a Monumental Task

Tackling the vast challenge of coral reef degradation, the ʻĀkoʻakoʻa mission is realized through the cohesive integration of Cultural Leadership, Scientific Diagnosis and Intervention, Multi-modal Education, and Government Support, each playing a crucial role in rejuvenating West Hawaiʻi's marine ecosystems.

Blending Hawaiian cultural values with ʻĀkoʻakoʻa's scientific goals, steered by a dedicated Cultural Advisors

Blending science and community in ʻĀkoʻakoʻa's reef restoration, leveraging technology for ecosystem health

Fostering future reef stewards with cultural and scientific education for diverse West Hawaiʻi communities

Advancing data-informed policy with government leaders on environmental action, informed by community input

Cindi at Kahaluu

Our Mission

To empower the many communities of West Hawaiʻi Island - inclusive of locals and visitors, students and teachers, voters and policymakers - with the best available science and cultural teachings to consciously act on their interconnected relationship with their coral reefs.

Key Statistics

The Scope of ʻĀkoʻakoʻa's Footprint

Spanning 120 miles, serving over 100 ahupuaʻa, and home to more than 35 coral species, ʻĀkoʻakoʻa represents a significant effort in coral conservation and community stewardship.

GAO map of the Kona Coast
GAO map of the Kona Coast
GAO map of Kawaehai harbor
GAO map of the Kona Coast
GAO map of Mauna Lani
GAO map of the Kona Coast
Critical Need

What’s at stake

Since the 1980s, Hawaiʻi Island has felt the impact of accelerating development, increasing the stresses affecting its natural environment. Its coral reefs have been hit by ocean warming, coastal pollution, wastewater and chemical discharge, and overfishing. Any one of these factors negatively affects most coral reefs, and when multiple factors are combined in one place like our island, the results can be catastrophic for corals and thousands of species that rely upon them. Together, the three-way punch of development, overfishing and climate change are steadily reducing the ability of Hawaiian reefs to support fisheries, cultural practices, recreation, and numerous other societal benefits.

Get Involved
Aerial drone of Kahaluu