There are many community and civic groups on Oʻahu, Hawaii’s third largest island, that mālama, or care, for the lands and waters. These groups are vital to the health and well-being of local communities, but in some cases their activities are undervalued or less visible because there is very little official information about the stewardship actions taken by community leaders. The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP) is a project to help illuminate and visualize how communities care for the many special places on Oʻahu. The first phase focuses on the Kona and Koʻolaupoko districts, with plans to cover other regions in the future. The project focuses on stewards from formal and informal groups that conserve, manage, monitor, transform, advocate for, restore, engage in place-based and traditional practices, and/or educate the public about the local environment.

STEW-MAP can help address the questions: who takes care of this region, where are there gaps, and where are there concentrations of care? It also becomes a resource for community groups and partner agencies to effectively communicate and collaborate with each other, to identify opportunities to support community based efforts, and to enhance the capacity of stewards. With the information that STEW-MAP provides, other products can be created collaboratively with participants to address their specific interests and needs.

The STEW-MAP Oʻahu data collection began in January 2019 and closed in April 2019. During the survey period, 425 groups were identified as stewards within the project area. Many of these groups have been introduced to STEW-MAP through previously held outreach events, emails, radio announcements, e-newsletters, and other means of contact.  In efforts to be broadly inclusive, outreach efforts have engaged environmental groups as well as canoe clubs, Hawaiian civic clubs, hālau hula, and schools. Data analysis is currently underway and the group is forming a collaboration with a local artist who was inspired by an exhibition of the STEW-MAP process.

To learn more, visit the Oʻahu STEW-MAP Page

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Last modified: March 17, 2017