Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lucas and Kuliwai Ponds - Ahupua'a of Niu & Kuliou'ou

Believe it or not, there are two existing fish ponds in the Maunalua area that still exist and have not been filled in (yet!) like Wailupe and Kupapa (Niu Peninsula) fish ponds have or altered like Kuapa fish pond has.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, a group of us were allowed to access a residential lot from Paiko Beach that is currently being held by the state. On this lot is a fish pond called Lucas Spring (see color pictures below). The pond has a house on post and piers that is partially built over it. The house I believe was condemned during highway widening several years ago. During the highway widening, it is believed that a substantial amount of the below ground fresh water flow to the pond was cut-off or blocked. Consequently, the amount of fresh water entering the spring has greatly diminished. The pond was very productive before with mullet, awa, aholehole and other fish that like brackish water. In one of the pictures below you can see a kahawai or makaha that is still there that once connected the pond to the ocean.

The black and white photo below shows the other pond in the area called Kuliwai (one old map called it Kanewai). This pond is land locked and surrounded by private property and residential lots. There is a narrow kahawai that connects it to Paiko Lagoon. The black and white photo was taken in the 1950's. I believe the little island in the pond is still there; however, the coconut trees on the island have recently died.

The hope is that these two wahi pana in Maunalua will remain. Lucas Spring and Kuliwai Pond have been neglected for too long! It is time for them to be restored, cared for and used for cultural purposes or as seen proper by experts such as those at UH Manoa Hawaiian Studies Department. Proper stewardship of the ponds would be of great benefit to the restoration and health of Maunalua Bay region and surrounding ahupua'a.

We must not let these historic Hawaiian sites be lost forever in our community. Way to much has been lost already!

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