By Chris Cramer, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center
Wailupe Stream is the last natural stream in Maunalua Bay. Pairs of native ducks are often seen overhead. Beautiful mature coconut trees line the banks while underneath the 'auku'u (night heron) and kolea stalk their prey. V-shaped processions of young mullet (pua) rule the stream and if you are lucky you might spot an o'opu, or opae.
Looking mauka, the view is alive with greenery. Banana and breadfruit trees blend with flowers and it is easy to see why Hawaiians concentrated their settlements here. Taro, muliwai (fishponds) and Mr. Nakayama’s legendary turtle pond used to decorate the banks. Higher upstream crayfish and even ferocious arowana can be found.
Over the years the stream has retained its clear water and lacks the foul odor that plagues nearby streams. Pollutants are filtered naturally and the fresh water feeds the limu of Maunalua Bay. One concern has always been flood damage. Historically native vegetation stabilized the banks and allowed the stream to slowly meander instead of going directly to the ocean. In modern times, straightening of the stream has sped upstream erosion as well as stream velocity. Nevertheless the timeless beauty of this last idyllic stream has remained. Today, Wailupe Stream remains a cool refuge from the urbanization that has extinguished other nearby streams.