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Windward // Windward Oahu Coverstory
Carol Chang

Dialogue Sought For Marsh Forum

Hokule'a's crew members spent Oct. 18 at Kawainui marsh, where they planted coconut trees and taro at Na Pokahu o Hawahine, and at Ulupo heiau, where they removed invasive plants alongside Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi and Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club volunteers. The voyagers look out upon at the marsh's expanse, savoring a visit that they've called 'surreal.' The public takes up the marsh's fate again Saturday. . Photo by Monte Costa.

Hokule’a's crew members spent Oct. 18 at Kawainui marsh, where they planted coconut trees and taro at Na Pokahu o Hawahine, and at Ulupo heiau, where they removed invasive plants alongside Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi and Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club volunteers. The voyagers look out upon at the marsh’s expanse, savoring a visit that they’ve called ‘surreal.’ The public takes up the marsh’s fate again Saturday. . Photo by Monte Costa.

A meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Le Jardin Academy auditorium will update the public on Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Master Plan revisions.

Co-sponsored by state Sen. Jill Tokuda and Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, it includes a facilitated community discussion of the future of the largest freshwater sanctuary in the state – and there are many stakeholders.

The state DLNR’s latest circulated draft plan includes a visitor center, pathways and bus access, to which The Outdoor Circle and Kailua Neighborhood Board have objected, citing a tourism slant, erosion runoff and less protection of the marsh itself. (The board voted for its own alternative plan Nov. 7.)

“There’s a lot of work yet to do in bringing the community together to endorse what’s going to happen,” noted Kailua historian Paul Brennan. The DLNR began the planning dialogue in 1994 with community input, and updates and forums have been under way ever since.

Bordered by major roadways, the ancient Kailua parcel spans more than 800 acres offering a natural flood control system and wildlife habitat and is a designated Wetland of International Importance.

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