Hui O Ko'olaupoko strives to protect our watersheds, starting from the rain that nourishes the land, to restoring the paths where water enters our aquifer system, all the way down to how the water accesses the ocean environment.
Stormwater is an abnormal quantity of surface water resulting from heavy rainfall in which the water that does not infiltrate into the ground but enters into waterways and eventually the ocean. In developed areas, stormwater is transported to the ocean via the storm sewer system, which is why managing that stormwater is so crucial to a healthy watershed.
In a natural undeveloped system, stormwater either infiltrates into the ground or is absorbed by vegetation. However, when stormwater flows along the impervious surfaces of a developed community (a hard, non-absorbing surface such as asphalt or concrete) it is called "stormwater runoff". As this stormwater moves along the land, it picks up a multitude of pollutants along the way. Pollutants include oil & grease, heavy metals, sediments, trash & debris, fertilizers, pesticides, pet waste, etc. On O'ahu, stormwater runoff is usually routed off the land and into the nearest storm drain or stream and then dumped in the ocean.
Hui o Ko'olaupoko aims to treat our precious rain water as a resource rather than a waste. HOK implements projects that mimic natural systems - which capture, store and infiltrate stormwater into the ground aquifer where it belongs. These management techniques not only recharges our ground water aquifer but also prevents polluted runoff from entering local streams, further protecting the ocean.