The systematic solution to each of the following problems will greatly contribute to the restoration of the Kaelepulu and Kawainui Stream ecosystem, improve water quality, enhance fisheries and increase the level of ecosystem functions and services provided by the estuary to the surrounding community and nearshore waters of Kailua Bay.
The primary challenges facing the estuary and their proposed solutions are six-fold:
PROBLEM: Loss of historical flow from the Kawainui headwaters has caused the Kawainui Stream branch of the estuary to become stagnant.
SOLUTION: Permanent flow should be established from Kawainui Marsh to the ITT wetland and Kawainui Stream should be established by installation of a drain pipe around the southern end of the Kawainui levee.
PROBLEM: Poor coordination of stream mouth openings contributes to the lack of water exchange within the system.
SOLUTION: The City needs to comply with the Kaelepulu Pond Drainage Agreement requirement to “maintain and repair, including necessary dredging and keep open the outlet from [the] pond.”
The City needs to open the stream mouth on a monthly basis. The opening should be synchronized appropriately with the ocean tides and needs to remain open a minimum of 25% of each month. Read the many benefits of regular stream mouth openings.
PROBLEM: Overgrowth by mangroves results in poor water quality, displaced native species, and increased flood risk.
SOLUTION: The City, Alexander and Baldwin, and private entities along the banks of the Kailua Waterways need to coordinate their efforts to remove ALL mangrove from the system.
PROBLEM: Ineffective controls of erosion and sediment transport from construction sites, particularly those on hillsides, contribute extremely large quantities of sediments and nutrients to the system.
SOLUTION: The community, primarily the ELRA and Neighborhood Board, need to take responsibility for notifying developers of their erosion control responsibilities, and compel the City and State Department of Health inspectors to enforce existing regulations.
PROBLEM: A lack of gross filters on storm drains and storm channels allows large quantities of road gravel, trash, and vegetation trimmings to enter the pond.
SOLUTION: Compel the City to meet its existing storm water NPDES commitments in the Kaelepulu watershed.
PROBLEM: A buildup of sediments in one portion of the Kaelepulu Stream prevents the effective flow of ocean saltwater all the way into the pond.
SOLUTION: The ELRA is in the process of permitting to conduct necessary dredging.
For More Information: More info on the Kaelepulu estuary system, including a full copy of the document from which this information was extracted, can be found here: Reports: Natural History, Hydrology and Water Quality of Kaelepulu Pond, the Urbanized Estuary of Enchanted Lake