Purple Maiʻa

Loko Iʻa & Coastal Monitoring Project

Augmenting the work of coastal stewards with sensing technologies

This project is a collaboration between Purple Maiʻa Foundation, Kua’aina Ulu ‘Auamo (KUA), Hohonu, with the goal of empowering stewards of coastal areas with cutting edge sensing technologies to support effective fishpond restoration.


Project Activities

  1. Conduct multiple community outreach and design processes that engage the existing network of loko iʻa and community-service organizations in a place-based framework that is equitable and empathetic to gather insights and perspectives relating to the biggest environmental, climate, or technological barriers to effective fishpond restoration for food production;
  2. Design, develop, and deploy environmental sensors at each interested site in Honolulu and Maui counties.
  3. Train fishpond practitioners (kiaʻi loko), local non-profit collaborators, and volunteers in sensor technologies and data science to facilitate technology transfer and enable program participants to deploy, maintain, and use data from sensor packages deployed within their fishponds and communities.

Purple Maiʻa will lead the community outreach and design thinking process in collaboration with the Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa community, an existing network of 50 local community groups dedicated to cultural and environmental restoration of traditional Hawaiian Fishponds.

With kiaʻi loko iʻa and community-generated design insights, Hohonu will develop and deploy environmental sensors. Hohonu will also develop the machine learning algorithms to assess and quality check sensor data. This will connect to an updated user-friendly interface through Natural Resources Data Solution (NRDS), where kiaʻi loko iʻa and community-service organizations can access and view data. This data will also be publicly available through Hohonu’s mobile app.

If you’re interested in learning more please reach out to Keaʻa at keaa@purplemaia.org


Our Partners

Hohonu is a technology company that specializes in real-time, compact, and affordable water monitoring hardware, software, and data science solutions. Hohonu was launched from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2019, and has grown to support over 60 communities facing accelerated threats from climate change across the United States.

KUA is an innovative, community-based initiative for protecting, restoring and caring for Hawaiʻi. Our unique native species, ecosystems and island way of life in Hawaiʻi are deeply interconnected, and are at the heart of what makes these islands “home.”

This work was made possible by Congressionally directed spending championed by the office of Senator Brian Schatz in Fiscal Year 2022, as well as support from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

Our Team

Donavan Kealoha

Donavan Kealoha

Co-Founder, co-CEO

Keaʻa Davis

Lead Design and Product Strategist

Ikaika Bishop

Sensor Technician and Educational Specialist

Zachary Pilien

Technology & Education Apprentice

Joe Baranowski

Creative Director