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Academy of Aquatic Regeneration

The Academy of Aquatic Regeneration positions non-human ecological actors, humans, and the built environment in a mutualism of ahu pua’a guardianship. This process includes reterritorializing the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor as a marine estuary and coral reef over a 100 year period. This site will educate residents and visitors of Waikiki in processes of marine stewardship through a gradient of didactic spaces. By consequence of this reterritorization, the constructed ecology and coral network become key community actors as coastal protection against storm surge and a host of essential marine biodiversity. Coral reefs are the base of the watershed in an ahupua’a network, serving as a trustworthy indicator of upper, mid, and lower watershed health. Culturally, this ecological oasis is positioned as the genesis of Hawaiian culture, being referenced in the first 15 lines of the sacred 2,015 line creation chant, The Kumulipo. It is the site of transition from dry to wet and the birthplace of aquatic life and activity. As of 2020, the coral reef surrounding Waikiki has been deconstructed for imported leisure activities, the shoreline has been fragmented by private ownership, thereby worsening the already off-balance watershed health. This Academy creates new partnerships between existing actors at the site, following in the footsteps of a strong history of civic and environmental activism within the ahupua’a.