Joined: Apr 09, 2003
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
|Posted: 2004-08-06 10:51 pm  Permalink|
This update from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs website regarding the restoration of the latest Hawaiian island:
With the departure of the U.S. Navy and its contractors from the one-time "target island," the state’s Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) has set its sights on the future, approving in April a five-year strategic plan that lays out the agency’s priorities for managing the island.
The plan, called "Hanau hou he ula o Kahoolawe – the rebirth of a sacred island," sets a variety of goals for the management of the island, including restoring natural and cultural resources, broadening the KIRC’s community outreach, and increasing the commission’s trust fund.
Rain shrine atop Luamakika
The KIRC assumed full control of the island in April, after the Navy demobilized following a 10-year, $400 million cleanup of ordnance left over from nearly half a century of military bombing. The cleanup cleared 77 percent of island’s surface and nine percent of its subsurface to a depth of four feet – numbers that fall short of the 1994 agreement between the state and the Navy that set surface and subsurface clearance standards at 100 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
But with the Navy having agreed with the state to respond to newly discovered ordnance, KIRC vice-chairperson and OHA trustee Colette Machado said that it’s time for the island to move forward. "We will always remember the eha (pain) that Kahoolawe went through," Machado said. "This plan represents the rebirth of the island, while incorporating Hawaiian values in that process and acknowledging the island’s cultural importance."
One of the challenges facing the KIRC is finding ways to increase its trust fund, which, as of January 2004, was $35 million – an amount the commission said is insufficient to ensure safe use of the island. KIRC acting executive director Stanton Enomoto said that the commission will examine possible grant and donation opportunities.
Ordnance and debris awaiting
removal during the cleanup
In order to further protect the natural and cultural resources of the island, Enomoto said, the KIRC is looking to develop a sizable volunteer base that can work with the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana on restoration and preservation projects. In addition, he said, the agency will maintain an extensive on-island presence to protect the reserve from illegal activities. To accommodate the increased activity on the island, the plan calls for developing and maintaining sustainable infrastructure on Kaho‘olawe, including energy, communication, transportation, water and sanitation.
Enomoto also said that the KIRC will collaborate with the Department of Education and private schools in developing a curriculum for students, ranging from elementary to college, that would teach about the history and cultural significance of Kahoolawe. He said the commission is also exploring the idea of building a Kaho‘olawe information center in Kihei on Maui, which would also serve as the KIRC’s administrative office.