Kiaʻi Kāhili

Kāhili Educator & Steward
The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) ‘ohana includes one or more community members serving in this role. (Job description)

What is Kiaʻi Kāhili and the Kāhili Stewardship Area?
It is an initiative supported by 5 organizations; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (KPNWR), Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT), Kīlauea Neighborhood Association (KNA), Kīlauea Point Natural History Association (KPNHA) and ʻĀina Hoʻokupu o Kīlauea (AHK). It includes the USFWS owned area known as Kāhili Quarry on the western side of Kīlauea River (Kīlauea side), as well as the opposite side of the river (Waiakalua/Wailapa side) owned by HILT.

What is the History of the area?
Kāhili Quarry was developed and utilized by the Kīlauea Sugar Plantation as a way to construct roads and railroads for the plantation. A road placed in the river by the plantation connected both the Wailapa and the Kāhili Quarry/Kīlauea sides. The bay was utilized as a location for the shipment of sugar out of and for resupplying Kīlauea town. It was an area of established resource gathering and with the quarry and shipping it became an area with a lot of activity, including being a community gathering and recreational area. In the late 1980’s, the Mōkōlea Point area (including Kāhili Quarry) was under threat of development and the community stepped in to support the purchase and management of the area by the USFWS for natural resource conservation and wildlife-dependent recreation. During the development of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) by the USFWS, community meetings were held regarding the possibility of closing access to Kāhili Quarry area at night after 6 pm. The community was not in favor of closing access to the area and instead agreed to collaborate with USFWS to monitor and provide community stewardship of the area.

Who owns the land and what authorities do they have?
The USFWS, a Federal agency under the Department of Interior, owns Kāhili Quarry (Kīlauea side) area and manages it under the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge for the purpose of conserving endangered species such as nēnē, migratory seabirds, native coastal plants, and wildlife-dependent recreation recreational activities.

The HILT, a non-profit organization, owns and manages the riparian area (further upstream on the west side of the river) of Kāhili Quarry as well as the Waiakalua/Wailapa side of Kāhili including the dunes and coastal bluff. Their mission is to protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations by providing access, restoring, and protecting cultural and native plant and animal habitats. They desire to showcase good stewardship practices and foster meaningful community experiences with nature for all who visit.

What is the status of Kāhili Quarry road?
Most of the road is owned by Charles Somers Living Trust (which includes a County public access easement), who is responsible for recent repair of the road. Continued maintenance of the road is at the discretion of the owner but responsible driving makes a difference in the longevity of the road condition. Once entering, one should drive slowly (the beach isn’t going anywhere!), with courtesy and aloha, and avoid driving in puddles when possible, which will accelerate road deterioration.

How can you be involved?
• Follow the Best Behaviors designated for this beautiful community place.
• Educate and help others to follow the Best Behaviors. “Use it responsibly or lose it”.
• As you feel the connection to this place and wish to see this access and responsible use continue, please join the Kiaʻi Kāhili movement and learn how to volunteer time, energy, and resources towards our goal of perpetuating this special place for the benefit of our kupuna and keiki.

Kiaʻi Kāhili Vision:
Here is Kāhili makai, where well-intentioned and deeply-connected stewards cherish and protect a peaceful, clean, and relatively undeveloped coastline. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, together with the Kīlauea community, are working to perpetuate natural resource conservation, meaningful cultural richness and connection, and community recreational activities of the Kāhili and Kīlauea river area.

Native plants blanket the sand dunes and aerial displays of thriving Hawaiian seabirds (koaʻe ʻula, mōlī, ʻaʻo, ʻuaʻu, and ā) are enjoyed with wonderment; their nearby nests and young well-protected from introduced predators. Families watch ʻiwa dip for clean water from the muliwai filled with ʻamaʻama in the purple and blue of evening. Star constellations are observed in the dark sky while stories are shared between young and old. Fishermen gather and teach responsible fishing practices. In pāʻina, we share the “fruits of labor” strengthening our bond of community.

Responsible behavior is fostered through education and monitoring, and the implementation of a management plan where the health and vibrance of Kāhili is perpetuated for generations to come.

Mission Statement:
Together we manage this unique place to achieve ecological and cultural vitality, connection (to this place and each other) and continued responsible recreation through collaborative education and stewardship for the continuing benefit of current and future generations.

Best Behaviors:
• Please help to mālama (care for) this ecologically sensitive and culturally significant area
• Please respect this area and leave this area cleaner than you found it
• Clean up after your pet and pack out all trash
• Respect other visitors’ quiet enjoyment (no loud music, bright lights, and parties)
• Fishing allowed in accordance with State of Hawai‘i regulations
• No hunting
• Dogs allowed on short leash only
• No camping
• Fires in designated rings only (no gathering of firewood – portable grills or stoves OK)
• No unauthorized commercial activity

For more information contact us at kiaikahili@gmail.com.

To report suspicious or illegal activity to Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (808-828-1413).

Click to view our FAQs Sheet