Report Title:

Kawai Nui Marsh Advisory Council; Establishment; Appropriation



Establishes the Kawai Nui marsh advisory council; appropriates moneys to DLNR for the work of the council.



S.B. NO.













relating to kawai nui marsh.





     SECTION 1.  Kawai Nui marsh, encompassing approximately eight hundred thirty acres of land in Kailua, Oahu, is the State's largest remaining wetland and an ecological and cultural treasure.  It has been identified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a primary habitat for endemic and endangered native Hawaiian birds such as the alae keokeo, alae ula, aeo, and koloa maoli.  In 2005, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands designated Kawai Nui marsh a wetland of international importance in part due to the wetlands relationship to surrounding cultural sites.

     Act 314, Session Laws of Hawaii 1990 (Act 314), directed the transfer to the State of that certain parcel owned by the city and county of Honolulu and bearing tax map key number 4‑2‑16:1, which encompasses the bulk of Kawai Nui marsh.  The parties were unsuccessful in completing the transfer.

     Since the passage of Act 314, the health of the marsh has declined significantly despite the advocacy and restoration efforts of community groups such as Ahahui Malama i ka Lokahi, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club, Kailua Historical Society, Kawai Nui Heritage Foundation, and the Windward Ahupuaa Alliance.

     Act 235, Session Laws of Hawaii 2007, again addressed the transfer of this parcel to the State, and the city and county of Honolulu is currently in negotiations with the State to complete the transfer of title.

     The purpose of this Act is to ensure continued community participation in the preservation, protection, and future vision for Kawai Nui marsh.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§171‑    Kawai Nui marsh advisory council.  (a)  There is established a Kawai Nui marsh advisory council, to be placed within the department of land and natural resources for administrative purposes only.  The advisory council shall consist of ten voting members appointed by the governor in accordance with section 26-34, and three ex-officio members as follows:

     (1)  One representative from the Kawai Nui Marsh Heritage Foundation or their designee;

     (2)  Four representatives from environmental or educational nonprofit organizations;

     (3)  Two cultural representatives appointed by the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club;

     (4)  Two community representatives;

     (5)  One landowner representative; and

     (6)  Three ex-officio members representing the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the department of land and natural resources forestry and wildlife division, and the city and county of Honolulu.

     (b)  Each member representing an organization shall be appointed by the director or other chief executive of the member's organization within        days following July 1, 2008.  The members of the advisory council shall not receive compensation for their service but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in their duties relating to the advisory council.

     (c)  A chairperson shall be elected annually by the council from among the council's voting members; provided that:

     (1)  Only a nongovernmental member shall be elected as chairperson; and

     (2)  No member may serve as chairperson for more than two consecutive years.

     (d)  Six voting members shall constitute a quorum to do business and any action taken by the advisory council shall be validated by a simple majority of the quorum.

     (e)  The Kawai Nui marsh advisory council shall:

     (1)  Review and assist in updating the Kawai Nui marsh master plan;

     (2)  Facilitate implementation of the master plan;

     (3)  Enhance community education and cultural awareness of Kawai Nui marsh; and

     (4)  Participate in the protection and preservation of Kawai Nui marsh's natural resources."

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 to support the work of the Kawai Nui marsh advisory council.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.