Kawainui Marsh

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Kawainui Marsh is on the windward side of the island of Oahu, between the town of Kailua and Kapaa Quarry.

"Sacred to Hawaiians, Kawainui Marsh, the largest remaining emergent wetland in Hawai i 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, 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." [1]

In the Aug/Sept 2005 edition of Elepaio, in an article entitled, Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh Complex added to List of Wetlands of International Importance under Ramsar Convention:

On February 2, 2005, the United States designated the Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh complex on O‘ahu’s windward coast as one of three new Wetlands of International Importance within the Nation. The new designations bring the total number of U.S. sites to 22, covering more than 3 million acres. The sites are named under The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, more commonly known as the Ramsar Convention after its place of adoption in Iran in 1971. [2]

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