Hamakua Makai Wetland Intro

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The Hamakua Wetlands makai of Hamakua Drive, and two species of Endangered Hawaiian Waterbirds photographed there:

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In 2005 Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, The National Audubon Society and Hawaii’s Thousand Friends confirmed a commitment with the International Ramsar Convention to restore and maintain the ecological character of the triangle of land (among others) bounded in Kailua by Kawainui Stream, Hamakua Drive and the homes along Akoakoa Street, ie., that section of the Hamakua Wetlands makai of Hamakua Drive (TMKs: 420030290000 & 420010550000.)

This wetland is now under threat of being degraded. A “New Windward Recreation/Dog Park” in Kailua has been proposed on this same triangle of land.

This Ramsar Certification is defined within the following links:

Kawainui/Hamakua Marsh Complex – Wetlands of International Importance

Ramsar Site Boundaries of seasonly flooded Kawainui/Hamakua Marshes

DLNR Signage near Times Coffee Shop

These wetlands were thus, in good faith, put in line for ecological restoration, not destruction.

Each winter water levels are elevated along the Kawainui Stream. Looking into the Makai Wetland through the Hamakua Dr. chain-link fence one can clearly see plenty of standing water. Further, the recent Hawaii Climate Conference offers us the Sea Level Rise Viewer at: http://www.pacioos.hawaii.edu/shoreline/slr-hawaii/. This Viewer provides these sea level rise predictions:

Siting a recreation/dog park at this location seems a clear encroachment on the Ramsar Agreement, both in spirit and deed, and would set a regressive precedent. Likewise, it seems a poor 3.8 million tax dollar investment to build anything on land which is instead going to become even more of a Wetland and thus provide us even more positive advantage of increasing Climate stabilization via its Wetland Services. Services we’ll need to help ward off Climate Change and its disruptions.

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Background DocumentsRamsar Convention on WetlandsKawainui-Hamakua Master Plan