In this study, we investigated the complex ways in which human well-being is related to the coastal and marine environment by looking closely at the ways communities impact, rely on, and steward the West Hawaiʻi region. We endeavored to understand how people in West Hawaiʻi experience and value cultural ecosystem services (CES) and how those CES influence human well-being. Ultimately, we sought to understand how resource management can include information about human well-being to support and enhance management practices.
We collected data by conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews with community members in West Hawaiʻi. Community collaboration was an essential part of this work to ensure that indicators are relevant, appropriate, and represent local values and beliefs. Interviews framed questions in a manner that prompted interviewees to discuss what CES they experience, connect with, benefit from, and value.