Kihei Stream: The Kihei Stream flows through upcountry Haleakala ranchlands, through Monsanto Agricultural Fields, crosses Pi’ilani Highway, flows through new housing developments winds through neighborhoods, and across the Kihei Kalama Village shopping center, and crosses under South Kihei Road before hitting the back beach floodplain at Kalama Park where it forms the Kalama Wetland muliwai, from here it flows into the ocean at the popular Kalama Beach park.
Kalama Shopping Village: Kihei stream flows through the Kalama Village shopping center in Kihei. These low-lying lands were undeveloped for many years and considered almost unusable because of their swampy nature. However, eventually the Kihei Kalama Villages were developed on the site. They built this shopping center across the wetland flood zone and Kihei stream. Now when it rains here or upcountry in the catchment basins the parking areas and streets become the defacto streambeds.
Kihei Gulch 1: Kihei Gulch 1, is considered important to the Kihei Drainage Master Plan (KDMP2016) for its ability to “convey runoff to the ocean”. And the Drainage Plan proposes to “Provide and improve existing drainage systems to convey runoff to the ocean for Waimahahaihai Gulch, Kihei Gulch 1, and Kaluaihakoko Stream.” That means that the County plans to eventually dump these three streams into this one gulch. if that ever happens it will be an environmental disaster.
Kihei Kalama Village: The Kalama Village shopping center was built in a flood zone, and directly across the path of the stream and the water flows across parking areas and under buildings. The building is built on post-and-pier to allow the stream to flow underneath. After the stream flows, the maintenance workers flush away the mud and silt into local stormwater drains.
Frequent flooding leads to ponding and road closures: This is the intersection of Keala Place and South Kihei Road.
Ephemeral Stream: The Kihei stream is an ephemeral stream, meaning that it currently only flows when it rains. This means that it is invisible most of the time, and people tend to ignore it until it rains. What most people don’t see is that when the stream stops flowing overland, the water still flows underground to the ocean through groundwater and feeds the Kalama Wetlands, and numerous freshwater springs that emerge in the ocean. This is important for different ecosystems and the health of many specialized habitats and environmental conditions that various species rely on.
The Kalama muliwai (wetland) and its supporting kahawai (stream, gully).
Kihei Stream: The Kihei Stream flows from upcountry, past ranchlands, and agricultural fields, through neighborhoods, and commercial areas, and finally flows into the Kalama wetlands and the ocean. Click here to learn more about the Kalama Wetlands.