The name comes from molo aʻa in the Hawaiian language which means "matted roots". Paper Mulberry trees (Broussonetia papyrifera, or wauke in Hawaiian) once grew so thickly that the roots were interwoven. The Moloaʻa Stream empties into the north end of a beach which is backed by high cliffs. Uphill from the bay is the Moloaʻa State Forest Reserve.
Moloaʻa Bay had one of the highest runups in Kauaʻi during the April 1, 1946 tsunami from the 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake. It experienced one of the highest wave amplitudes: 11.5 meters (38 ft).
- EPA - Beach Advisories And Online Notification[permanent dead link]
- Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Moloa'a ". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- John R. K. Clark (2004). "lookup of Moloa'a ". in Hawai'i Place Names: Shores, Beaches, and Surf Sites. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- "Kauai Forest Reserves". Hawai‛i Forest Reserve System web site. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
- Shoreline Modeling Segments in the Hawaiian Islands Critical for Regional Tsunami Evacuation Determinations
- "April 1, 1946 Tsunami Amplitudes". Archived from the original on April 1, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
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