Community groups are working on preservation of Ka`u's Coast. Their efforts range from asking landowners to set aside public parks to asking the county, state and congress to acquire the coastal lands. They include efforts to preserve Hawaiian archaeological and burial sites and the wetlands and estuaries of Ka`u. The following are some of these community groups:
THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND, after helping to raise $3.4 million to purchase Honu`apo from landowners in California, is holding the 225 shoreline acres in trust, to be turned over to the County of Hawai`i. Joshua Stanbro, who led the TPL effort, described the shoreline as a place where all people are equal. Donations to purchase Honu`apo and preserve it forever came from county, state, federal and private sources, with donations coming from jars on countertops to gifts from private landowners and funding by government. He can be reached at 212 Merchant St., Suite 320, Honolulu, HI 96813. (808) 524-8560
KA `OHANA O HONU`APO has been formed as a non- profit organization to co-manage the new Honu`apo Park with the County of Hawai`i. John Replogle is president of the organization. Replogle, who grew up in the area, lobbied county, state and federal decision-makers to preserve Honu`apo Bay & Fish Ponds. In the film SAVING KA`U'S COAST, Replogle talks about the need for parks as the hillsides above the coast are developed and more people need a place to go to the shore. Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo can be reached at: (808) 929-8454.
KA`U PRESERVATION, INC. is working to preserve Hawaiian sites and shoreline. It is calling for government agencies to stop all development along Ka`u's coast until a preservation plan can be completed and approved by the community. It is working on holding back development at Punalu`u where zoning for thousands of units is in place for condominiums, single-family houses and a hotel. See or write P.O. 472, Na`alehu, HI 96772; call (808) 928-1018 or contact attorney Ron Self at
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY and Hawai`i Director Suzanne Case have conserved vast acreage in Ka`u, including Kamehame, nesting grounds for hawksbill turtles. The Nature Conservancy's Ka`u Preserve is part of the largest and most intact expanse of native forest in the state. Kamehame turtle nesting sites are protected by volunteers each summer.
The Nature Conservancy is represented on the South Kona - Ka`u Coastal Conservation Task Force, which is meeting monthly and coming up with recommendations for shoreline preservation areas to present to the 2007 State Legislature.
Nature Conservancy land managers in Ka`u conduct endangered species education for school groups and the public. Contact The Nature Conservancy at
923 Nu`uanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817;
(808) 537-4508