About This Reserve
This reserve includes unique and diverse upland, estuarine, and marine habitats within the He‘eia estuary and a portion of Kāne‘ohe Bay, protecting features such as the He‘eia stream, coral reefs, sand flats, and important cultural components. The cultural sites include traditional agricultural and heritage lands and the He‘eia Fishpond. Marine waters make up the largest component of the reserve and feature Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island), home to the University of Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. Coconut Island is surrounded by the Hawai‘i Marine Laboratory Refuge, which includes the most pristine coral reefs in the site.
The He‘eia Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. The University of Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, in conjunction with other local partners, manages the site on a daily basis. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.