Maui is the second largest of the eight main islands of Hawai`i. Two shield volcanoes that overlapped to form an isthmus between them formed the island. The younger volcano is Haleakala which is located on the east side of Maui. It rises to just over 10,000 feet above sea level.
Maui is in close proximity to the islands of Moloka`i, Lana`i and Kaho`olawe. Approximately 1.2 million years ago these four islands, built from seven shield volcanoes, were one. This prehistoric island is referred to by geologists as Maui Nui-Nui meaning “great” in the Hawaiian language. When sea levels rose the valleys or “saddles” between the islands were flooded.
As with all of the main islands of Hawai`i, erosion, population increase, and introduction of non-native flora and fauna have affected the forests and eco-systems of Maui.
Restoration projects such as dryland forest restoration at Auhahi, and East Maui watershed protection help to restore and preserve eco-systems.
Places to Visit
Kahanu Garden of the National Tropical Botanical Garden
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges
DLNR: State of Hawaii Forest Reserve System Hawai`i Island
United States Geological Survey
Water and Weather
Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships
East Maui Watershed Partnership
Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership
West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership
Earth Observatory: Little Islands Big Wake
Hawaii Forest Industry Association