Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kawai Nui Marsh

Just before sunset

This is a beautiful natural marsh--the largest on Oahu at 800 acres.  As such, it is a protected Wildife Sanctuary, and that fact by itself deserves respect when visiting this site. There is a nice, somewhat lengthy, flat trail on the floodwater control levy. This levy, however, has no shade, so plan for an early morning walk, and bring water. There is no wheelchair access, no store or food access, no bathrooms, very limited parking. The marsh is a cultural and scientific historic treasure, and was considered a major sacred site by Hawaiians for centuries as a giver of Life--Was able to sustain thousands with fish, kalo-[taro]- and fowl during Hawaii's chiefdoms and later, monarchy period. WW11 marked an era of rapid change for the face of the windward area of Oahu, with the introduction of marine corp base Hawaii, and a change in economy. The marsh fell into disrepair, but in the last 20 years has seen several improvement programs that are helping return this natural area back to its healthy, productive state--fish, fowl and wildlife populations are slowly increasing in healthy numbers.-quote from tripadvisor

It took only a five minute drive down Oneawa and through a neighborhood to find this natural sanctuary. I saw people fishing, cycling, running and taking photos. There were quite a few bird varieties, including waterfowl. The moment the sun passed over the crest of the Koolau Mountains the still, glassy surface of the water became densely pocked with mosquiotos. 


  1. Lovely sketch of the marsh area! I like the long vertical composition...great to capture from the water level up to the mountain. It is great that they have worked on preserving the area.

    1. Thanks, Joan. Although I do usually stand to sketch, I could have used my camp stool this time. Then again, I wouldn't have gotten the same view. :)