Kawaihae Reef was the largest reef on the Big Island. I believe the reef remained in place up to late 1950s ( Hawaii became a state in 1959) when US Corps of Engineers dredged it to make Kawaihae Harbor.
In the song Kaulana Kawaihae, lyrics by Kailihune Alama Na’ai, made famous by Iz Kamalawiwo’Ole, there is a verse “E’oleo Mai Kahiko Mai O Puakailima” translated as telling from old times of Pua ka Ilima. I learn that this was an island where the ilima flower grew in the kawaihae reef area before it was covered up or destroyed.
The Kawaihae Harbor, LSD, Coral Flat and Breakwall are names refer by locals of the same place that over the years that became our community center, where the roof is sky and the reef is floor.
This site is created by Hai On to share information about the Kawaihae Reef, related issues and policies affecting the general area around the reef: Kawaihae Harbor and Pelekane Bay.