Environmental Issues

The waterways of Kailua cover a water area of nearly 120 acres, and serve as the estuary for the 2500-acre Kaelepulu watershed encompassing the communities of Kailua and Enchanted Lake. These waterways include Kaelepulu Stream, Kaelepulu Wetland, Kaelepulu Pond, Kaelepulu Canal and the Kawainui Canal — all feeding into Kailua Bay through the white sands of world-renowned Kailua Beach.

Unfortunately, the waters from these drainage ways contain trash, sediments, nutrients and bacterial contaminants that adversely affect the nearshore environment and the recreational use of these waters. The largest component of the Kailua waterways is the 80-acre Kaelepulu wetland and pond, commonly known as Enchanted Lake.

Major environmental issues

Keep the lake clean.Goals for Restoration of Kaelepulu

  • Dredge section of channel to restore water exchange
  • Coordinate monthly stream mouth opening with tides
  • Remove built up silt and debris in lake in front of storm drain openings
  • Stop additional sources of sediment to lake
  • Install storm drain filters
  • Remove all mangroves
  • Renovate & dredge wetland to maximize edge habitat for endangered waterfowl
  • Restore oyster beds to their previous abundance to provide natural filtration


Storm Water Best Management Practices (BMP) Plan for Four Major Outlets at Ka‘elepulu Pond
Prepared for the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Environmental Services, Nov 2008