State preserves Hamakua Marsh in Kailua

Published On: Feb 13 2013 01:42:00 PM HST
KAILUA, Hawaii -

A Windward Oahu hillside property once proposed for a senior retirement home will now be preserved as open space forever under a land deal officially announced by the state Wednesday.

The birds were the stars of the show at the event held on the shoreline of the Hamakua Marsh.

Native Hawaiian waterbirds, endangered, but growing in numbers thanks to the joint efforts of federal, state and local community members.

“So really, what this project is, is a good demonstration area for what we can do in other areas,” said David Smith, Department of Land and Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Oahu Branch Manager.

The state is the proud new owner of 67 acres of the Hamakua hillside, and promises the land will never get built on or paved over.

It's a deal fulfilling a promise by Kaneohe Ranch to protect Hamakua Marsh.

“Occasionally, you get the opportunity to do exactly the right thing,” said Mitch D’Olier, Kaneohe Ranch Management Ltd. president and CEO.

Together with a project underway to restore the ponds at adjacent Kawainui Marsh, the state is looking at improving and protecting the state's largest remaining natural wetland.

“Not just the bird resources, the wholistic resources of Hawaii, the watershed protecting the coral reefs. That’s the message we want to get across,” said William Aila, DLNR Chairman.

An on-going project is underway to improve the quality of the windward water system, with the wetlands playing an integral part of that.

“We’ve been studying the water from all the way down at the ocean, all the way up to the headwaters at this stream and so the idea to eventually tie the whole network together,” said Smith.  "How long that will take?  It's hard to say."

“I’ve been working on this project for 30 years, so patience is definitely part of the equation,” said Smith.

Past struggles to get this far is now water under the bridge.  Time now to look forward to restoring a native forest on the hillside and making sure the birds make a healthy comeback.

The land deal cost $1.17 million with the state using $450,000 from its Legacy Land Conservation Program and the rest from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


The views expressed are not those of this site, this station or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • NYJ v. MIA Chris Ivory Week 4

    Stephen Pond Getty Images

    Jets down Dolphins in London

    The bye week might hold a double meaning for the Miami Dolphins, but coach Joe Phibin said Sunday it's no time to panic.

    "It all seems like the walls are closing in on you. We all realize that. So we gotta look at things and be honest about where we are, what we're doing well and what we're not doing well," he said.

    Philbin and his top lieutenants, defensive coordinator Frank Coyle and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, are under fire in the wake of a third consecutive loss, the latest a 27-14 whipping at the hands of the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

    "I told the team look, I expected to be better than 1-3, (owner) Steve (Ross) expected to be better than 1-3, you expected to be better than 1-3. That's what we are," Philbin said. "There's an old saying in football, you are what you are."

    Jets running back Chris Ivory Ivory ran for a career-high 166 yards and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 218 yards and one touchdown.

    Philbin was hired entering the 2012 season, leaving the Green Bay Packers and edging then-Dolphins interim head coach Todd Bowles in the interview process. Bowles is 3-1 with the Jets in his first season as a permanent head coach.

    "I was proud of them," Bowles said of the Jets.

    The Dolphins do not play in Week 5 but return to the United States on Sunday night with plenty of baggage and loads of questions. They've lost to the Jaguars, Bills and Jets since holding off the Washington Redskins on the final possession of the fourth quarter to win 17-10 in Week 1.

    Philbin said that after speaking with owner Stephen Ross, he's not concerned about his own future and has no plans to part with Coyle.

    "I'm worried about getting our team fixed and straightened out and ready to play the Tennessee Titans. We have 14 days," Philbin said.

    Fitzpatrick, who threw for 172 yards in the first half, connected on a 58-yard completion to wide receiver Brandon Marshall on the first play. Marshall had 107 yards receiving by halftime and finished with 128 on seven receptions for the Jets (3-1). Fitzpatrick was 16-of-29 passing and had one interception.

    Anxious feelings persist because of continued problems generating yards (241 Sunday) on offense and little impact from $114 million free agent big fish Ndamukong Suh.

    Ivory scored the first touchdown from 3 yards to start off his ninth career 100-yard game. Fitzpatrick later completed a 10-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Decker in the second quarter and running back Zac Stacy scored from the 2 in the third.

    "Through four games, I'm happy," Bowles said. "For 16 games ... we'll see."

    The Dolphins sputtered from the start on offense as Bowles called a bevy of blitzes -- at least 22 times in the game he sent an extra pass rusher -- to overwhelm Miami's undermanned offensive line playing again without left tackle Branden Albert.

    The Jets finished with 207 yards rushing, including 34 from Fitzpatrick, and 425 total yards on offense.

    Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill ended up with 198 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-44 passing.

    The Dolphins were 0-for-12 on third downs and 0-for-4 on fourth downs.

    NOTES: Sunday's game was the 12th regular-season game at Wembley Stadium, but the first intra-divisional game. ... Jets DL Leonard Williams (ankle) will not likely practice Tuesday before the team gets a week off during its bye, but coach Todd Bowles did not believe the injury to be serious. ... Jets S Calvin Pryor is dealing with a knee "bone contusion" per Bowles and will be re-evaluated this week. ... Suspended DT Sheldon Richardson can return to the team from a four-game ban on Monday.

  • Giants air it out in road win against Bills

  • Panthers use turnovers to beat Bucs

  • Bengals light up Chiefs on both sides of the ball

  • Redskins' last second TD beats Eagles

  • More