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Kaua`i Site Descriptions

Map of Kauai Ocean Count Sites

Northshore Locations
Eastside Locations
Southshore Locations

Westside Locations
 

Northshore Locations

Site 1: Lumahaʻi Lookout

View from Lumahai Lookout

Lumaha`i Lookout
Directions: On Kuhio Highway overlooking Lumaha`i Beach. The highway pull-off has an emergency call box.
Parking: Parking is available along Kuhio Highway.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: 120 feet
Comments: The ocean count will be conducted from a vantage point 120 feet above sea level along Kuhio Highway, overlooking Lumahai Beach. Volunteers should obey all signs, including not stepping beyond the guardrails. Due to traffic congestion at this site, do not bring lawn chairs. Volunteers should limit cars to three only. The other cars should be parked further down the coast where parking is safer and more abundant. Permission to use this property has been granted by the Highways Division.
Bathymetry: The bottom drops off to 50 feet about 2.2 nauticle miles from the shoreline; the bottom drops off to about 2.8 nauticle miles from the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is mostly consolidated reef with some sediment. Offshore, the bottom is sand. This site is located near Hanalei Bay, however views do not include the bay.

Site 2: Cliffs at Princeville

View from grounds at Princeville Hotel

View from the Princeville site.
Directions: Driving north from Kapaa to Princeville on Kuhio Highway, turn right at Princeville water fountain (not to be confused with Princeville golf clubhouse). Head straight down, driving over 2 speed bumps. Turn right at the sign for Sandpiper condo (Pepelani Loop). Drive over 3 more speed bumps and turn right on Kaui Road. The Cliffs is at 3811 Edward Road. Proceed right onto their main driveway turn left at the stop. Park where your Site Leader informed you. Walk toward the ocean and you will see other volunteers.
Parking: May vary year-to-year. Further details will be provided by the site leader.
Facilities: Restrooms available at the Cliffs Resort.
Elevation: 120 feet
Comments: This site is on the grounds of the Cliffs Club Condos at Princeville. It is a high cliff with a 160 degree view. Permission to use this property has been granted by the Cliffs Club at Princeville for the Ocean count dates and times.
Bathymetry: The vantage point is located on the cliffed coastline in Princeville. There is a coral reef in front of this site (Note: no beach access from site). The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.5 miles of shoreline. The nearshore bottom is consolidated limestone. Offshore, the bottom is sand.

Site 3: Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

View of Kilaue`a Point

Kilaue`a Point Refuge
Photo: Jeff Alexander
Directions: Meet at the gated entrance to the Kilaue`a Point National Wildlife Refuge by 7:15 am. The site leader will get the volunteers through the gated entrance, since the refuge does not open to the public until 10 am. All cars will be allowed to drive through the gate and park in the public parking lot. Volunteers will walk out to the point and set up an observation area.
Parking: Public parking is available at the refuge.
Facilities: Restrooms are available in the refuge visitor center.
Elevation: 180 feet
Comments: The height of the coastal vegetation at this site will require volunteers to stand, rather than sit, while making observations. Lawn chairs may be used during rest periods. Several volunteers should be designated as interpreters since many visitors to the refuge will want to know about the activity. No pets are allowed. This is a wildlife refuge where human food consumption is strictly limited because of the potential for ants, rats, and feeding native wildlife. Food is to be consumed in cars only, but water is allowed on site. Permission to use this site has been granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Bathymetry: The areas observable from this location have bottoms that drop off to 50 feet within 0.3 miles of the shoreline and drop off to 100 feet within 0.6 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom, normally basalt with a thin veneer of marine life; not reefal or sedimentary.

Site 4: Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge - Crater Hill East

Crater Hill East overlook

Crater Hill East Overlook
Directions: Meet at the gated entrance to Seacliff Plantation along Kilaue`a Road by 7:15 am. The site leader will get the volunteers through the gated entrance. All cars will be allowed to drive to the paved turnaround area at the Seacliff Plantation Overlook. Volunteers will walk through fencing, over the hill to a vantage point looking northeast to Mokolea Point. Volunteers will walk about 10 minutes uphill and downhill along a grassy trail from their parked cars.
Parking: Parking is available off the Seacliff Plantation roadway.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available. Nearest restrooms are at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge visitor center.
Elevation: 250 feet
Comments: No pets are allowed. This is a wildlife refuge where human food consumption is strictly limited because of the potential for ants, rats, and feeding native wildlife. Food is to be consumed in cars only, but water is allowed on site. Bring lawn chairs if you don't want to sit on the grass. This site is not recommended for persons fearful of heights. Excellent site for seabird watching. Permission to use this site has been granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Bathymetry: The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.3 nauticle miles from the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1.8 nauticle miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom type. Further offshore, the bottom is smooth limestone.

Eastside Locations

Site 5: Kapaʻa Lookout

Kapa`a Lookout

Kapa`a Lookout
Directions: This is a paved scenic vantage point located along Kuhio Highway located between Kapaa town and Kealia Beach. Drive North from Kapaa on Kuhio Highway. Passing Kauai fire station # 8 on your left. Turn right at the driveway just past mile marker # 9. Proceed thru the first parking lot to the second (larger) parking lot.
Parking: Parking is available at the second parking lot (see above).
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: 40 feet
Comments: Lawn chairs are suggested. Excellent view of the Kapa`a reef. Permission has been granted by the State Highways Division.
Bathymetry: This vantage point is along a rocky shoreline. This vantage point is adjacent to a large reef flat. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.4 nauticle miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1.6 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is sandy and becomes rocky further offshore.

Site 6: Ahukini State Recreation Pier

Ahukini State Recreation Pier

Ahukini Pier
Directions: The park is located at the end of Ahukini Road past the airport in Lihu`e.
Parking: Parking is available at the park. Park cars as instructed by the site leader.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: 0 feet
Comments: Lawn chairs are suggested. Sweeping views of the bay and ocean. A special use permit has been issued by the Division of State Parks.
Bathymetry: This rocky basalt shoreline is at the entrance to Hanama`ulu Bay. The bottom drops off to 50 feet 1 nauticle mile from the shoreline; the bottom drops off to 100 feet within 1.2 nauticle miles from the shoreline. The bottom is mostly consolidated reef with some sediment bottom.

Site 7: Ninini Lighthouse

View at Ninini lighthouse

Ninini Lighthouse
Directions: Enter at the guard shack along Kapule Highway across from Vidinha Stadium in Lihu`e. Follow the winding road that ends at Ninini Lighthouse.
Parking: Parking is available at Ninini Lighthouse.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: No information available.
Comments: The roadway becomes narrow and unpaved in the section closest to the lighthouse. A picnic table is available. Bring lawn chairs if you do not want to sit on the rocky shoreline. The ocean count will be conducted on the ground, not on top of the lighthouse.
Bathymetry: This rocky shoreline is at the entrance to Nawiliwili Harbor, the main commercial port for the island of Kaua`i. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.2 nauticle miles of the shoreline; bottom drops off to 100 feet within 1.4 nauticle miles of the shoreline. The bottom is composed of sand and coral.

Southshore Locations

Site 8: Māhāʻulepū - Makauwahi Nature Trail

Directions: Meet at 7:15 am at the guard shack at the entrance to Maha`ulepu. The volunteers will be escorted to the selected ocean count site by the site leader. This site is located adjacent to Ha`ula Bay.
Parking: Parking is available at the end of the road, near the ocean count site.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: ~25 feet
Comments: The site is located at the far (Lihu`e-side) end of Maha`ulepu. This is a wildland location. The roadways are unpaved and bumpy. Lawn chairs are suggested for those who do not want to sit on the ground. Permission from Grove Farm has been obtained.
Bathymetry: This vantage point is located on a limestone cliff. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 0.3 miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1 mile of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is beach rock and consolidated reef with some sediment on the bottom. Offshore the bottom is sand.

Site 9: Māhāʻulepū - Makawehi

Directions: This is the high bluff located just past the Hyatt Regency. Drive along Po`ipu Road, beyond the entrance to the Hyatt Regency Kaua`i Resort and Spa. Turn right onto Ainako Street and proceed to the public parking area behind the beach. Walk eastward along the beach to the raised lithified dunes nearby. Climb to the top.
Parking: Parking is available at the end of Ainako Street in a paved parking lot that is part of a public beach access.
Facilities: Public restrooms and drinking fountains are available at the public parking lot/beach access.
Elevation: This vantage point is located on a lithified dune that is approximately 40 feet in elevation.
Comments: This site is located in the Maha`ulepu area, adjacent to the Hyatt Regency Kaua`i Resort. This is a wildland location. Physical exertion is required to get to this site. This site is not recommended to anyone with a fear of heights and who is not steady on their feet. Since scrambling to the top of the lithified dune will be required, lawn chairs are not recommended. Permission from Grove Farm has been obtained.
Bathymetry: This vantage point is located on a lithifield dune. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 0.2 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom type normally basalt with a thin veer of marine life, not reefal or sedimentary. This extends offshore and also may include a hard bottom with sediments that cover up fifty percent of the area.

Site 10: Makahūʻena Point

Makahu`ena Point

Makahu`ena Point
Directions: Site is located on Pe`e Road in Po`ipu. This is the undeveloped oceanfront property next to the Makahu`ena condominium. There is a Coast Guard light on the property. The ocean count site is at the base of the Coast Guard light.
Parking: Parking is available along Pe`e Road.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: 30 feet
Comments: This is the southeastern tip of the island. Lawn chairs are suggested for those who do not want to sit on the ground. Permission from the Coast Guard has been obtained.
Bathymetry: Th vantage point is located on a cliffed shoreline. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 0.7 miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1.0 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom type.

Site 11: Poʻipū Beach Park

Directions: Po`ipu Beach Park is a county beach park located at the intersection of Ho`owili Road and Ho`one Road. The ocean count site is located near the shoreline, near the start of the breakwater that protects keiki pond, under the ironwood trees.
Parking: Parking is available in the public parking lots across the street.
Facilities: Public restrooms and drinking fountains are available at the park.
Elevation: 0.10 feet
Comments: This is a shady site on level lawn that can be easily accessed by those who have difficulty walking or need wheelchairs. Picnic tables may be available nearby, but lawn chairs are suggested. Lifeguards are on duty at Po`ipu Beach.
Bathymetry: The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 0.3 miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 0.5 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom with sediment on fifty percent of the area. Offshore, the bottom is sand.

Site 12: Kaʻiwa Point

Directions: Drive westward on Lawa`i Road, past Spouting Horn in Po`ipu. The trail to the ocean count site is located just east of the Lawa`i Gardens gate. Proceed down the trail to about mid-level with a good view, as determined by the site leader. If ocean conditions are too rough (much salt spray and wave wash), conduct the count from the side of the Lawai Road where the vegetation has been cleared, as determined by the site leader.
Parking: Park along the edge of the Lawa`i Road, making sure not to block the turnaround and entrance to Lawa`i Gardens.
Facilities: No public restrooms or water available. The nearest facilities are located at Spouting Horn.
Elevation: 40-50 feet
Comments: This site will involve walking a short distance down a sloping, dirt path to a vantage point with sweeping views of the southern shoreline and Lawa`i Bay. Caution should be taken in not getting swept by waves and salt spray.
Bathymetry: This vantage point is located on a volcanic coastline. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 0.2 miles from the shoreline and to 100 feet within 0.4 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom type. This bottom type extends farther offshore. There is also consolidated reef with some sediment bottom.

Westside Locations

Site 13: Port Allen Cemetery

Directions: Drive to the power plant in the Port Allen industrial area in `Ele`ele and take the dirt road that leads eastward to Glass Beach; continue eastward to the cemetery.
Parking: Parking is available at the ocean count site
Facilities: No restrooms or water available. Nearest facilities are located at Port Allen Small Boat Harbor.
Elevation: 30 feet
Comments: Access to the site is by dirt road. Lawn chairs are suggested. Permission from A&B Properties has been obtained. Volunteers will be required to fill out an A&B right-of-entry permit agreement at the volunteer training session (questions: call sanctuary staff at 246-2860).
Bathymetry: The vantage point is located at the top of a cliffed coastline. The shoreline contains basalt tide pools. It is located near an electric plant and discharge area, breakwater, and commercial port. The lands nearby were used as a dumping ground. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.3 nauticle miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1.5 nauticle miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is a hard bottom type. There is coral offshore.

Site 14: Waimea Canyon Drive

Waimea Canyon Drive view

Waimea Canyon Drive
Directions: Along Waimea Canyon Drive above the town of Waimea, near the pull-off with interpretive sign.
Parking: Parking is available off of Waimea Canyon Drive.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: 200 feet
Comments: This is not a shorefront location, however it offers a panoramic view of the ocean fronting Waimea. Because of its inland location, strong binoculars are recommended. Lawn chairs are suggested. Volunteers may be required to fill out a Department of Water Supply liability waiver form.
Bathymetry: The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.7 miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet within 1.8 miles of the shoreline. The shoreline is sand. The nearshore bottom is mostly sand with some rocky features.

Site 15: Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF)

Directions: Due to security restrictions at the base, this site is available only to U.S. citizens. Additional security screening will be conducted by base security well in advance of the ocean count. The site is on the eastern side of Nohili Ditch, at the base of an vessel approach marker.
Parking: Parking instructions will be given by the site leader.
Facilities: No restrooms or water available.
Elevation: ~15 feet
Comments: Permission to use this site has been granted by the Pacific Missile Range Facility pending approval by base security.
Bathymetry: The vantage point is located upon a berm above a sand and limestone shoreline. The bottom drops off to 50 feet within 1.8 miles of the shoreline and to 100 feet with 2.1 miles of the shoreline. The nearshore bottom is consolidated limestone; sand predominates in depressions slightly further out. Offshore, the bottom is sand.

 The above 15 sites are approved sites for the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count on Kaua`i. Occasionally other sites may be available. The Ocean Count Coordinator will be able to provide information on additional sites if they are available. Only those sites that are approved by the Ocean Count Coordinator will be included in the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count report.



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