CRAMP Study Sites: Kanapou Ili, Island of Kaho‘olawe
Geographic Name: Kanapou Ili
Lae O Halona Point north to Puki O Kohe O Hala ridge crest
Chart showing Kanapou coastline. (Click image for larger view.)
1993 NOAA aerial of Kanapou Ili coastline. Provided by Steve Rohmann. (Click image for larger view.)
Kanapou‘s pali or high cliffs separate it from the rest of the island.
Two beaches are known locally as excellent surfing sites, Kaukaukapāpā, east of Lae o Kealaikahiki and Kanapou (Clark, 1980). Kaukaukapāpā has a moderately steep slope and powerful currents from north to south. Kanapou is exposed to strong waves from the Alalākeiki Channel.
Reef Structure, Habitat Classification:
In the 1993 surveys of 19 Kaho‘olawe sites (Cox et. al 1995), coral diversity was lowest at Smuggler‘s Cove, Black Rock, Twin Sands, and North Kanapou, where coral coverage was relatively low and the coral community was dominated by Pocillopora meandrina.
Oceanographic and Meteorological Conditions:
The eastern edge of Kaho‘olawe, including Kanapou, is frequently subjected to strong wind-driven waves and currents. Evidence of the predominant water direction lies in the debris that collects along the beaches in this region particularly at Beck’s Cove.
Human Use Patterns:
Due to devegetation by grazing ungulates, the bay at Kanapou, on the east coast of Kaho‘olawe, is often heavily sedimented. This reduction in vegetation has decreased precipitation and created a hardpan that is unable to absorb moisture. It has also accelerated erosional processes that produce fine sediment that wash into the bay. Revegetation efforts are currently underway.
Historical and Cultural Importance:
Two fishing ko‘a or shrines of cultural importance can be found at Kanapou.
Last Update: 04/21/2008
By: Lea Hollingsworth
Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment & Monitoring Program
Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
P.O. Box 1346
Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744