Improving Hawaii’s Water Quality: Selecting Sites for Riparian Restoration in a GIS
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The southern windward side of Hawaii, known as the Ko`olaupoko Moku, is comprised of twenty-one watersheds and three bays. Changes in agricultural practices and recent rapid urbanization have had a significant impact on Hawaii’s water quality, and the Ko`olaupoko Moku is no exception. Eleven of the streams in the Ko`olaupoko Moku and portions of all three of its bays are considered impaired waters by the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to protect the unique marine and fresh water ecosystems of this region, riparian restoration is an imperative step in improving water quality. The purposes of this project are threefold. First, to describe the challenges facing water quality in the Ko`olaupoko Moku. Second, to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) model which maps precision riparian buffers using the Riparian Buffer Delineation Equation (RBDE). Finally, to identify sites appropriate for implementing riparian restoration.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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