Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Region

Tools for Partners and Landowners

Photo of Manua Islands, American Samoa

Coastal Program

The Pacific Islands Coastal Program is one of the regional programs under the USFWS Coastal Program. The Pacific Islands program provides a crucial link between private landowners, Federal agencies, State and local governments, and communities to facilitate significant coastal conservation efforts. Protection and restoration actions restore near-shore marine environments and benefit trust resources such as federally listed sea turtles, waterbirds, and endangered species, as well as migratory seabirds, shorebirds, wetlands, and coral reefs.

Manua Islands, American Samoa - Photo credit USFWS

Established in 1999, the Pacific Islands Coastal Program provides project funding and technical support to:

  • Restore and conserve coastal and near-shore marine habitats
  • Conduct applied research to develop new restoration techniques
  • Map and survey coastal species and their habitats
  • Offer technical support to non-federal participants to purchase coastal habitat from willing sellers
  • Provide environmental education programs
  • Assist partners to obtain outside habitat restoration grants, such as National Coastal Wetlands Grants

We can work in the State of Hawai‘i, unincorporated U.S. territories and possessions (Howland, Jarvis, Palmyra, Wake, Johnston, and Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge), Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and independent Pacific nations with Compacts of Free Association with the U.S. (Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands).

Selected projects are funded from annual appropriations to the Coastal Program, although there are always more proposals than available funding. Project pre-proposals can be submitted at any time. If the pre-proposals look promising, a more detailed proposal will be requested. Pre-proposals should be no longer than two pages and include:

  • Project name and participants, including contact information;
  • Project budget, including any matching funds* or in-kind services from both sources;
  • Brief description of proposed project activities and how they will benefit coastal resources;
  • Geographical location; and
  • Project timeline and milestones

*The annual program goal is to get a 1:1 match for all Coastal Program funds expended. However, the match can be obtained from federal or non-federal sources and in-kind services. If individual projects cannot meet the 1:1 match, the shortfall can sometimes be made up from other projects over the course of the fiscal year.

Examples of Pacific Islands Coastal Program Projects:

Opaeula Pond Restoration

Partners: Ducks Unlimited, Kamehameha Schools, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)

The Pacific Islands Coastal Program is providing funding and input to restore an 8 acre coastal wetland on the Kona coast of Hawai‘i Island. The wetland provides feeding and nesting habitat for four endangered species of waterbirds and a variety of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Restoration actions include alien weed and predator control, construction of a fence to deter hikers and dogs from disturbing birds, educational signs, waterbird population monitoring, mapping and planning for additional restoration. The surrounding area contains sand dunes and several anchialine pools, a unique aquatic habitat supporting an indigenous faunal assemblage that includes up to five candidate species of shrimp. Aquatic and dune vegetation surveys were also funded as part of associated Coastal Program projects in preparation for future restoration activities. Kamehameha Schools is funding predator control, NRCS is providing Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) funding and Ducks Unlimited is contributing staff time to provide biological and engineering expertise.

Marine Gap Analysis

Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i Natural Heritage Program, Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources, University of Hawai‘i, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

A GIS data management tool will be used to identify areas around the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe where conservation projects are needed and to assist the State of Hawai‘i to identify potential areas for establishing new marine protected areas. A GIS data layer of nearshore marine and coastal resources around the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe will include data on species locations, habitat types, traditional Hawaiian knowledge of species and habitats, land ownership, and threats to species and habitats.

Offshore Islet Restoration

Partners: State of Hawai‘i, The Nature Conservancy, Bishop Museum, University of Hawai‘i, National Park Service

The project is a cooperative venture to inventory and restore high priority islets throughout the main Hawaiian Islands. Offshore islets are the last refuge for the majority of seabirds and many rare coastal plants and insects in the Hawaiian Islands. Because the islets are isolated from the main islands and access is difficult, many of these islets are less impacted by invasive alien species and human disturbance than other coastal areas. This project will document the biota, allow collection and propagation of rare plants and initiate restoration in the form of alien species removal and outplanting. The public will also benefit from learning about coastal resources and the need for habitat restoration.

Limahuli Stream Restoration

Partners: Hawai‘i Stream Research Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

The project examines the effects of restoring native riparian vegetation on primary productivity (measured as biomass & species composition of native algae) and any subsequent effects on native fish and invertebrate populations on the island of Kauai. The study will test the hypothesis that alien riparian vegetation, which currently dominates all of Hawai‘i's stream systems, creates a dense canopy compared to the lower growing native species, reducing light reaching the stream, in turn reducing the biomass of native algae available to native species. Results from the study will be used to determine riparian restoration strategies statewide.

Kamehame Beach Acquisition

Partners: The Nature Conservancy

Endangered hawksbill sea turtles are successfully nesting in a predator free environment at Kamehame Beach on the Big Island (Hawai‘i). The hawksbill turtle volunteer program on the Big Island is in its 9th year of protecting and monitoring nesting hawksbill sea turtles. Moreover, the Pacific Islands Coastal Program technical assistance facilitated the purchase of Kamehame Beach by The Nature Conservancy to further protect it as a permanent preserve.

Click here for Habitat Restoration Resources

For more information:
Sheldon Plentovich
Pacific Islands Coastal Program Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pacific Islands Office
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 3-122
Box 50088
Honolulu, HI 96850
(808) 792-9400
(808) 792-9581 fax

Click here to print an overview of program information,
Pacific Islands Coastal Program Factsheet (pdf 226K)

The Pacific Islands Coastal Program
is part of the Conservation Partnerships Program,
a collection of voluntary habitat restoration programs
with the goal of restoring native Pacific Island ecosystems
through collaborative projects.


Last updated: September 20, 2012
Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
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