Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex

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Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex

  • Country: 
    United States of America
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    414 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    21°24'N 157°45'W
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Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex. 02/02/05; Hawaii; 414 ha; 21°24'N 157°45'W. State Wildlife Sanctuary. Sacred to Hawaiians, Kawainui Marsh, the largest remaining emergent wetland in Hawaii and Hawaii's largest ancient freshwater fishpond, is located in what was once the center of a caldera of the Koolau shield volcano. The marsh provides primary habitat for four of Hawaii's endemic and endangered waterbirds, including Laysan Duck and Hawaiian Goose or Nene, and contains archaeological and cultural resources, including ancient walled taro water gardens (lo'i) where fish were also cultivated. Kawainui Marsh stores surface water, providing flood protection for adjacent Kailua town, one of the largest towns on the windward side of O'ahu. Hamakua Marsh is a smaller wetland historically connected to and immediately downstream of Kawainui Marsh, which also provides significant habitat for several of Hawaii's endemic and endangered waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 1460. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • Special Management Area of City and County Land Use
    • State Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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