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NameKaho olawe
NicknameThe Target Isle
Image CaptionLandsat satellite image of Kaho olawe.
Locator MapMap of Hawaii highlighting Kahoolawe.svg
Locator Captio NLocation in the Hawaiistate of Hawai i.
Area44.6 sq mi (115.5 km2)
Highest MountPu u Moaulanui
on the crater rim of Lua Makika
Elevation1483 ft (452 m)
FlowerHinahina kū kahakai (Heliotropium anomalum var. argenteum)
Color Āhinahina (gray)
Rank8th largest Hawaiian Island

     Home | Hawaiian island | Kahoolawe

Kaho olawe (c-eniconkəˌhoʊ.əˈlɑːwiː; Hawaiian: -hawkəˈhoʔoˈlɐve) is the smallest of the eight main volcanic islands in the Hawaiian Islands. It is located 7 miles (11.2 km) southwest of Maui and southeast of Lāna i and is 11 mi (17.7 km) long by 6 mi (9.7 km) wide, with a total area of 44.6 sqmi (115.5 km2). The highest point is the crater of Lua Makika at the summit of Pu u Moaulanui, which is 1477 ft (450.2 m) above sea level. The island is relatively dry (average annual rainfall is less than 65 cm (25.6 in)) because the low elevation fails to generate much orographic precipitation from the northeastern trade winds and it is located in the rain shadow of east Maui's 10023 ft (3055 m) high volcano, Haleakalā. More than one quarter of Kaho olawe has been eroded down to saprolitic hardpan.

Kaho olawe has always been sparsely populated, due to a lack of freshwater. Beginning in World War II, the island was used as a training ground and bombing range by the United States military. After decades of protests, the Navy ended live-fire training on Kaho olawe in 1990, and the island was transferred to the State of Hawaii in 1994. The Hawaii State Legislature established the Kaho olawe Island Reserve to restore and oversee the island and its surrounding waters. Today Kaho olawe can be used only for native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes.

The United States Census Bureau defines Kaho olawe as Block Group 9, Census Tract 303.02 of Maui County, Hawai i. The island has no permanent residents.

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