restore limu


why do restoration of limu in Waimānalo Bay?

It was at the request of one of a Waimānalo kupuna to be able to see limu thrive in Waimānalo Bay like it was during her youth and be able to share it with her grandchildren.

limu restoration

Replenish the limu that once thrived in Waimānalo Bay to restore the nearshore fishery and return limu to the diet of the local community.
Hawaii’s shoreline ecosystem is suffering from the lack of its most important primary producer, limu or seaweed. Limu sustains capacity for nearshore fisheries by serving as the foundation of the marine food web and creates habitat for invertebrates and other marine life. Without it, all attempts restore  the Hawaii’s marine ecosystem and fisheries will fail.
“To return to the days where limu was in such abundance that children would play with limu wigs as they swam in the ocean and the wind would carry the scent of limu throughout Waimānalo Valley.”

The Waimānalo Limu Hui has been hosting a monthly limu planting since November 2017. The first species of limu that we started to replant in Waimānalo Bay is Limu Manauea, the Hawaiian species of Ogo. Our limu is sourced from Uncle Wally Ito where it is grown in tanks till the optimum time for the spores to be spread. We then receive and use it for our monthly plantings. We begin the day by teaching participants the anatomy of the limu and how to wili it into lei with raffia. These lei are then wrapped around rocks to be planed out into the ocean with in Waimānalo Bay. The group proceeds into the water to place the rocks with a pule to help it flourish once more.

volunteer hours

types of limu

once abundant in Waimānalo Bay.

In gathering information from Kupuna of Waimānalo, listed below are the different species of limu that once swayed in the ocean and graced its scents in the ‘Alopali and Lipu’upu’u Winds of Waimānalo.

Limu Manauea

Scientific Name: Gracilaria coronopifolia
Other Common Names: Ogo
Limu sold as “Ogo” in the store is of another species.                

Limu Kohu

Scientific Name: Asparagopsis taxiformis
Also known as Kohu Līpehe and Kohu Koko.
Other common names: Limu Līpa’akai on Niihau and Līpehe or Līpa’akai on Maui

Limu lepe o hina

Scientific Name: Halymenia formosa
Other Common Names: Lepe`ula`ula (cock’s comb), Red lettuce or Ruffled limu.                                                                                                                                                           

Limu `ele`ele

Scientific Name: Enteromorpha prolifera
Also known as: Hulu’ilio (Dog Hair)                                                                                                   

Limu kala

Scientific Name: Sargassum echinocarpum
Other Common Names: Limu Honu, Kala Launui and Kala Lauli’i.

Limu Pālahalaha

Scientific Name: Ulva fasciata
Also known as: Pāpahapaha (Kaua’i) or Pakaiea (Hawai’i)
Other Names: Sea Lettuce

Limu Līpe`epe`ue

Scientific Name: Laurencia succisa
Other Common Names: Hidden Limu

Limu Liopa

Scientific Name: Dictyopteris plagigramma
Other Common Names:  limu gathered from the deep


july 2018 #bossdancefriends

This is one of the videos shot and choreographed by Dr. Kiana Frank and her #BOSSdancefriends demonstrating the techniques in `Uhau humu pōhaku (dry stack masonry). The dance was taught to the crowd during opening circle and filmed after work was completed. 

Play Video

ma ka hana ka `ike workshops

We’ve been known to teach a few hands-on workshops from time to time. From making limu presses with the children, teaching the are of `uhau humu (dry stacking), how to throw a throw net, to the art of `ule hala (cordage with hala root) you can be sure to learn something new. BUT, you must be present to win when these impromptu classes are taught.

Our merchandise is available at all of our events. It helps to fund our program. Please see our merchandise tent for available items.


growing limu

The Waimānalo Limu Hui was fortunate enough to partner up with Sea Life Park in 2019. Through their generous donation, the hui was allowed to use park resources to be able to grow out the limu used at the monthly limu plantings. The partnership has been key in allowing the hui to be more self-sustaining and not having to depend on other huis to source limu for the monthly plantings.

On June 6, 2020, WHL was privileged to release two juvenile turtles born and raised at Sea Life Park back into Pahonu. The lucky 35 participants got to witness the turtles return to the only turtle enclosure in the state.