Barbara "Maka'ala" A. Ka'aumoana
Hanalei, Hawaii

Barbara “Maka’ala” A. Ka’aumoana is the executive director of the Hanalei Watershed Hui, a community-based, nonprofit focused on the stewardship of the natural, cultural, and economic resources of the Hanalei Bay Watershed. For over 20 years, her work has highlighted the connections between upland, wetland, and near-shore resources critical to the subsistence, recreational, cultural, and economic needs of the community. With the designation of the Hanalei as an American Heritage River, she facilitated the collaboration of the community, government, and the private sector in the development of the Hanalei Watershed Action Plan and advocated for a community-led process for research and planning. The iconic Hanalei River valley encompasses nearly 350 acres of wetland impoundments that produce over 80% of Hawaii’s taro production and provide critical habitat for five species of Hawaii’s endangered wetland birds. She has engaged the community in stewardship through the development of a Watershed Management Plan, a Makai (ocean) Watch program, a Community Disaster Resilience Plan, a mobile science/education van, and the annual publication of the Hanalei Moon and Tide Calendar.