As on all of our refuges, one of our most important management functions is protecting the wildlife by providing undisturbed habitat. We do this by:
Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is at the base of two watersheds from the West Maui Mountains and Haleakalā. The wetland undergoes seasonal conditions resulting in high water during winter months and low water during summer-fall months.
The wetland’s outlet to the ocean is naturally blocked with sand and breaches when water in the pond reaches capacity. Management of the wetlands is geared toward providing quality habitat for endangered waterbirds such as the a‘eo and providing water for foraging and bathing, vegetation to nest within and seek cover, and mudflats to rest and nest.
The refuge has limited capabilities to manage water in the large wetland and is subject to natural conditions, especially during the summer-fall dry season (August-October). During this time, water has to be pumped into the pond to maintain shallow water for waterbirds. Efforts are being made to increase our ability to control water in the wetlands including re-drilling old brackish-water wells, repairing the water control structure at the outlet at the North Kihei Road bridge, and investigating alternate water sources.