Waihe'e Limu Restoration, or WLR, is focused upon restoring Hawai'i's native limu to maintain a healthy marine ecosystem which will help perpetuate traditional Hawaiian cultural practices both on land and in the ocean. The organization began with Alyson Napua Barrows grandmother who instructed her while looking over the Waihe'e Ahupua'a to take care of this place. Alyson, an Oahu native, would visit her grandmother on Maui every year learning about the ways in which she could malama the aina. It wasn't til she meet her husband Dennis, a Maui boy, who would help her fullfil her grandmother's wishes. Its is WLR's hope with more people aware of the importance of native Hawaiian limu, there can be more opportunity for traditional fishing and gathering methods to continue. As lawai'a, the fishermen, and kupuna, or elders, share their generational knowledge with their ohana and the community, these traditions will be perpetuated and the Hawaiian culture can be strengthened.
What We Do
WLR main audience consist of school age children any where from preschool to high school. Schools like Kamehameha Maui, Lihikai Elementary, Wailuku Hongwanji Preschool, and many more schools throughout the state partner with WLR each year to learn about the different types of native limu and how the limu benefits our ecosystem. The students meet with the WLR team at various sites around Maui to take advantage of the mana'o of our leaders to further their knowledge in areas like Hawaiian history, marine biology, social science, along with math and geometry through limu restoration. Our small WLR team can work with the Kumu's to tailor the field trip to meet their in-class curriculum.
Why we Started
iBased out of Maui, Waihe'e Limu Restoration, or WLR, is a small operation of ohana and community members from Wailuku, Waiehu, Waikapu, and Waihe'e and has since expanded to include Kahului, Pukalani and Kahakuloa as well. Together, we are able to cover much ground in our limu restoration efforts. We are ever mindful of the tides, currents, and weather patterns that affect our efforts and have learned to adjust our time and work accordingly.
While attending a lecture about alien and invasive algae removal project in Waikiki, my mind was drawn to my hawaiian cultural perspective. When you remove something for the aina, something must replace it. This is where I found my niche to replant the native hawaiian limu.
I sought the knowledge of my elders in my family, our Hawaiian communities, those who lived within the area and many others to understand the best method to regrow the native limu in the area.
My UH professor introducing me to Dr. Isabelle Aiona Abbott. Dr. Abbott became another mentor on my list of mentors on this journey I decided to engage in. Doors have opened since meeting Dr. Abbott which helped to get to where I am today.
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