Kailua Neighborhood Board requests freeze on EIS process for Kawainui

Dear Editor,

At its Sept. 4 meeting, Kailua Neighborhood Board adopted a motion requesting that a freeze be put on processing the EIS for the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex Master Plan.

The board, numerous individuals and other community and statewide organizations have submitted comments to DLNR and the consultant indicating that the current DLNR draft plan, on which the EIS is being prepared, proposes an unacceptable level of development for an area that contains cultural and archaeological sites, and is a historic district eligible for listing on the National Historic Register, Hawaii’s only wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, a habitat for Hawaii’s four endangered waterbirds, a state Class 1 inland water body, and a flood-control area.

It would be more appropriate to defer further processing, until the new state administration has the opportunity to review public comments and establish its policy for preservation of this ecologically important wetland area and wildlife sanctuary.

Expending scarce state resources on a plan and EIS costing $539,000, which may never be implemented, is poor public policy and poor use of taxpayer money. Kailua Neighborhood Board therefore respectfully requests that the Board of Land and Natural Resources defer processing the plan and EIS until the new state administration has had the opportunity to establish its policy concerning the marsh area.

On behalf of the board,

Charles A. Prentiss, chairman