Social and Economic Benefits of the Maunalua Bay Reef Restoration Project

This project examined the social and economic benefits of the invasive algae removal (IAR) project that was conducted in Maunalua Bay on the Island of O‘ahu during 2010. Some 2.9 million pounds of invasive algae were removed from 23 acres of affected reef through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The study characterized human uses of the marine environment; examined local perspectives on environmental changes in the region; and gauged direct and indirect social, economic, and cultural benefits associated with the IAR project. Over 150 public officials, residents, and members of local organizations were interviewed. Research results indicate that the ARRA grant that supported the IAR work resulted in significant social and economic benefits to project participants, to human communities adjacent to Maunalua Bay, and to the various non-governmental organizations involved in the effort.