We do our best to keep you informed. Send us your questions at info@imuamaunalua.org. This section will be updated as more frequently asked questions arise. *FAQs were last updated on 11/6/15.


IMUA MAUNALUA is a community-based marine planning project, hosted by a consortium of organizations referred to as the Project Advisory Committee, or PAC, that invites all who have an interest in the bay the opportunity to participate in a bottom-up approach to help shape the Bay’s future.

Why should I get involved in IMUA MAUNALUA?

For decades the community has lamented the continued loss of a once healthy, vibrant bay ecosystem in Maunalua. IMUA MAUNALUA provides an opportunity for community members to come together to develop a vision and plan of action for a healthy, sustainable Maunalua Bay. The Bay is our common kuleana. Effective marine resource management can only happen with ongoing community participation and support.


How will Maunalua Bay, and the people who value it, benefit from IMUA MAUNALUA?

Maunalua Bay is considered by experts to be one of the most damaged in the state: water quality is impaired, native algae and seagrass have been choked out by sediment and invasive algae, and fish biomass is low. The Maunalua region faces developing markets, climate change, changing population, and potential emerging uses, all of which could further impact the Bay. A community-based marine plan is the ideal process for the Maunalua community to safe-guard the future of the Bay’s resources.

What is Marine Spatial Planning?

Marine Spatial Planning is a defined process that brings together multiple entities involving the ocean, including business, conservation, culture, governance, and recreation, to minimize conflicts and make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use the resource so that ecosystem health and services are protected, restored, or sustained for future generations. Marine Spatial Planning is used worldwide in diverse marine environments, and is proven to be an important step to improving collaboration amongst multiple users of the marine environment toward a shared vision and outcome.

How do I get involved in IMUA MAUNALUA?

As time goes on, there will be many more ways to get involved in IMUA MAUNALUA. For now:

As the project gets underway next year:

  • Attend a Community Planning Team meeting
  • Attend the quarterly public community information sessions to learn more about the status of the planning process, ask questions, and share information.
  • Let us know how you’d like to participate at info@imuamaunalua.org

And remember, this is a community driven and community funded project. This is your Bay, your future. Only you can make it happen. Your contribution will get the needed resources to do a good job.

Where is Maunalua?

Traditionally, Maunalua refers primarily to the waters fronting Portlock and Kuapā fishpond.

For the purposes of this project, “Maunalua Bay” includes the 6.5 square miles of submerged waters extending from Kupikipikiʻō (Black Point) to Kawaihoa (Portlock) and the “Maunalua Region” to those lands whose water runs into that Bay. For a map and discussion, click here.

We welcome additional information on history and place names of the area.

What makes IMUA MAUNALUA a community-driven process?

The community of the Maunalua Bay region is being called upon to help develop, implement, and support the marine plan. Dozens of community groups with an interest in how the bay is used – culturally, socially, economically, and environmentally—will each have a member on the Community Planning Team. The Community Planning Team members will abide by the commonly accepted Ground Rules of Collaboration. The role of the Community Planning Team member is to represent the interests of their community group throughout the duration of the planning process. All Community Planning Team members sit at the table as equals.

The Community Planning Team will collaborate regularly to seek agreement on a suite of recommendations regarding the potential establishment of a long-term management plan for Maunalua Bay.

Throughout the process, broader-based IMUA MAUNALUA community listening sessions will be held frequently for all to attend.

What is process in developing a plan for Maunalua Bay?

The IMUA MAUNALUA marine planning process is expected to take two years to complete through a series of monthly planning team meetings. Step 1 is to form the Community Planning Team, which will be an open, transparent process. Step 2 involves a set of meetings to establish a common foundation of knowledge and explore possible strategies. Step 3 is to work together collaboratively to create a marine plan for the Bay.

How do I nominate someone to the Community Planning Team?

Simply complete the online nomination form on the Help Build the Community Planning Team page.

How are Community Planning Team nominees being selected?

Each nominee will be asked to complete a Selection Evaluation Form to help determine whether the nominee is qualified and able to commit to the project. Once all Evaluation Forms have been received, the Imua Maunalua Support Team will arrange meetings for the nominees to determine the team structure and leadership from each community group. The meetings will be led by a professional independent facilitator. If the group cannot decide, the Support Team will blindly assess each candidate for selection.

What is the commitment of the Community Planning Team member?

The goal is for the Community Planning Team to have final recommendation by December 2017. Members of the Community Planning Team will be expected to participate in monthly meetings, as well as meet with their community group as needed.

What are the Guidelines for Collaboration?

The Guidelines for Collaboration are a common set of understandings that the Community Planning Team will abide by for all discussions. The Rules facilitate the efficient use of participants’ time and resources in achieving consensus on a recommendation; they serve as the group’s “agreement” for effective, fair, and civil collaboration and consensus building.

What is the Project Advisory Council?

In pursuit of its primary goal, to facilitate a plan for Maunalua Bay, Malama Maunalua reached out to DLNR, NOAA, Conservation international, and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii to seek advice and support in developing a community based Maunalua Bay Plan. This group has been meeting since early 2015 to help structure the process.  It has become known as the Project Advisory Council or PAC.

As its title indicates, the PAC provides advice and resources to the project. It neither directs nor governs the results or the substance of recommendations. The makeup of the PAC is flexible, depending on member’s capacity to provide resources and essential advise to the project. Currently serving on the PAC are TNC, CI, MM, and Hawaii Kai Chamber of Commerce. DLNR and NOAA are ex-officio members.

The PAC is not intended to represent individual or commercial interests. The place for specific user or interest groups to participate is as part of the Community Planning Team. The CPT will determine the recommended management strategies for the future of Maunalua Bay.

How does IMUA MAUNALUA differ from NOAA’s proposed Designation of Maunalua Bay as a Special Sanctuary Management Area?

NOAA’s Draft Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement released in June 2015 was a proposal to increase the geographic and regulatory scope of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. IMUA MAUNALUA is a ground-up, community based marine planning process with a broad base of community-interest groups that will be fully consulted and fully integrated into the marine planning process. IMUA MAUNALUA has no regulatory authority, but the process has both State and Federal government entity representation and support.

How does IMUA MAUNALUA differ from the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s (DOBOR) Maunalua Bay Recreation Advisory Committee (M-RAC)?

M-RAC will confine its concerns to the recreational uses of Maunalua Bay, with an emphasis on the commercial uses. The IMUA MAUNALUA Marine Plan will consider a much broader range of stakeholder and ecological interests.

IMUA MAUNALUA and the M-RAC will collaborate to insure communication and integration of the two processes.

What is Mālama Maunalua?

Malama Maunalua, founded in 2006, is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission “to conserve and restore a healthy and productive Maunalua Bay through community kuleana.”

In September 2014, Malama Maunalua revisited its strategic plan. It determined to focus on two goals. The first is to “Facilitate the development and implementation of a comprehensive, community -based, partner-supported Maunalua Bay Plan.” In 2015, MM initiated IMUA MAUNALUA in support of this goal. The second goal is “A healthy near-shore habitat that supports native sea grass, limu and animals.” MM initiated the Paiko Habitat Restoration project in pursuit of this goal.

Please go to www.MalamaMaunalua.org for more information.

What is the relationship between Mālama Maunalua and IMUA MAUNALUA?

Mālama Maunalua initiated IMUA MAUNALUA because it was clear that a comprehensive approach for the whole Bay was the only way to make significant and lasting improvements.

Mālama Maunalua convened the PAC to assist in identifying the planning tools and methods that have been used successfully elsewhere.  Mālama Maunalua role is to raise and manage funding for the project as well as being the host. MM is dedicating resources such as staff, office, equipment, and materials.

Malama Maunalua’s goal is to insure that this is a community-based project, and neither directs nor governs the substance of the recommendations.