|Oahu, Hawaii. // Photo by Freeimages/com/Keith Syvinski|
Land conservation history was recently made in Hawaii as Turtle Bay Resort and a collaboration of entities led by the State of Hawaii completed an agreement to preserve nearly 630 acres of open space along Oahu’s North Shore coastline.
Gov. David Y. Ige signed into law Senate Bill 284 on June 12 following the initiative of the Hawaii State Senate and the State House of Representatives which created legislation supporting this historic agreement. The details of the agreement were approved by the State Board of Land and Natural Resources on September 25.
The property protected by this conservation agreement covers more than four miles from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay and represents nearly four percent of Oahu’s coastline.
The agreement between Turtle Bay Resort, the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, U.S. Army and The Trust for Public Land is supported by a host of community groups and stakeholders, including the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT).
The land acquired by the City and County of Honolulu under its Clean Water Act grant funding is located in Kawela Bay near a 4.9 acre site that will be dedicated as a public park for recreational use by residents and visitors.
The U.S. Army, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, contributed $2.5 million toward the conservation agreement via the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB), which preserves land around military installations. The Army’s Kahuku Training Area is its largest on Oahu and is used by all of the military services for ground and aviation training.
At the grassroots level, the NSCLT was vital in providing Turtle Bay Resort officials with both perspective and guidance from the Koolauloa and North Shore communities on the need to reach an agreement acceptable to residents’ interests.