THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

20

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO MANAGE THE WAIANAE KAI FOREST and restore water flow in waianae streams for native hawaiian traditional and customary practices AND implementation of the waianae kai wildfire preparedness plan.

 

 


WHEREAS, the literal meaning of "waianae" is "mullet water", signifying the historical presence of mullet in the muliwai or brackish water pools and estuaries once common along the Waianae coast; and

 

WHEREAS, the Oahu Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs passed a resolution expressing support of efforts to restore water flow in the historic, natural waterways of Hawaii for traditional and customary Native Hawaiian practices; and

 

WHEREAS, the Waianae watershed is defined by the geographic area encompassed by the City and County of Honolulu's Waianae District boundaries and roughly coterminous with the traditional boundaries of the Waianae Moku; and

 

WHEREAS, the Kaupuni Stream is classified as a perennial stream within the Waianae aquifer with a drainage area of 2,291 acres and nine tributaries; and

 

WHEREAS, the Waianae community has shown a strong interest in restoring stream flow in order to provide for native aquatic species habitat, local small-scale farming and irrigation, and the revitalization of cultural practices; and

 

WHEREAS, in 2016, the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board unanimously passed the Aalii Resolution authored by students from Nānākuli High School regarding water management in Waianae; and

 

WHEREAS, the August 2018 Waianae Kai forest fire burned 1,500 acres of native forest, which degraded forest cover and decreased water percolation into the perched aquifers; and

 

WHEREAS, Kaala Farm, Inc., has requested a grant-in-aid for the Waianae Kai wildfire preparedness plan; and

 

WHEREAS, the goals of the Waianae Kai wildfire preparedness plan are to prevent ignition of fires in Waianae Valley by implementing key best management practices and increasing security in the upper valley, and improve the ability of firefighters to respond to fires and extinguish them quickly by increasing water availability for firefighting; and

 

WHEREAS, there have been community-based conversation on the need to restore the Waianae Kai Forest to promote Waianae watershed health, and ensuring a healthy Waianae watershed will lead to continuous mauka-to-makai stream flow; and

 

WHEREAS, stream flow from the perched aquifers catalyzes the spawning of native stream and nearshore aquatic species, including endemic species of oopu, ōpae, and other fish like anae, promotes limu growth, and is critical for the perpetuation of traditional and customary practices such as loi kalo restoration; and

 

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Hawaii establishes the State's obligation to protect, control, and regulate the use of Hawaii's water resources for the benefit of its people; reaffirms and requires the State to protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes; and requires all public natural resources to be held in trust by the State for the benefit of the people; and

 

WHEREAS, these constitutional provisions are the basis for the establishment of water rights through the State Water Code and the determination that the maintenance of waters in their natural state constitutes a distinct use under the water resources trust; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, that this body urges the Department of Land and Natural Resources to ensure water flow from the perched aquifers located in the upper reaches of the Waianae Watershed for Native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body urge efforts to implement the Waianae Kai wildfire preparedness plan, including:

 

(1) Improvements to security through construction of a security office or gate;

 

(2) Construction of a tank, pond, or reservoir to provide water for firefighting helicopters;

 

(3) Installation of fire hydrants and pressurized water lines at strategic locations in the upper valley;

 

(4) Creation and maintenance of fire breaks at strategic locations;

 

(5) Installation of a sprinkler system to irrigate vegetative fire breaks;

 

(6) Fuel load reduction; and

 

(7) Public education and preparedness training; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is requested to continue to effectively manage the Waianae Kai Forest Reserve with native trees and shrubs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Division of Forestry and Wildlife is requested to restore the recently burned forest areas from the August 2018 fire with native trees and shrubs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Administrator of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Manager and Chief Engineer of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Mayor of the County of Kauai, Mayor of the County of Maui, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, Administrator of the Cultural Learning Center at Kaala, and President of Hoomau Ke Ola Treatment Center.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Waianae Watershed; Native Hawaiian Traditional and Customary Practices