Kānewai Spring is one of the last remaining freshwater springs in Honolulu. The spring feeds into Kānewai Fishpond, the Paikō Wildlife Sanctuary, and Maunalua Bay. The mixing of fresh and salt water between the spring and fishpond provides a fertile estuary habitat for rare freshwater limpets and brackish water mollusks (pīpīwai and hapawai) and the endangered ae‘o (Hawaiian stilts). Knowledgeable kupuna (elder) Uncle Henry Chang-Wo explained the spring is where the mountain gives birth to the ocean.
Since 2010, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center (MFHC) has been stewarding the spring and the archaeological and cultural sites on the property. In 2017, we purchased the property and transferred ownership to MFHC to permanently protect the site. MFHC continues to maintain the spring and offer educational opportunities—teaching skills for the next generation of caretakers such as invasive species removal and native plantings, traditional Hawaiian dry-stack stone masonry, and water-quality monitoring.