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Friday, July 29, 2011
DLNR, Corps of Engineers agree on Kawainui Marsh Environmental Restoration Project
By News Release @ 7:33 PM :: 5907 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment

DLNR, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SIGN PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT FOR KAWAINUI MARSH ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PROJECT

News Release from www.Hawaii.gov/gov

KAILUA – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today signed a formal project partnership agreement for the construction of the Kawainui Marsh Environmental Restoration Project in Kailua, O‘ahu.

DLNR has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Kailua community for more than 15 years to develop a habitat restoration project for the 800-acre Kawainui Marsh. The project implements the wildlife habitat restoration components of the 1994 Kawainui Marsh Master Plan and Hawai‘i Endangered Waterbird Recovery Plans.

The project will also serve as the foundation for educational, environmental, cultural, recreational, community and volunteer efforts to restore the wildlife habitat in the marsh. Without restoration, the marsh will remain in a state of degradation with little wildlife and community use values.

The project will help to restore habitat for 4 endangered waterbirds on O‘ahu – the endangered koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen) and ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot).

The project will increase populations of endangered waterfowl, create scenic open space, reduce upland runoff to coastal reefs and remove invasive weeds from the marsh.

The total project area of 37.8 acres will include: 11 terraced shallow ponds (on 24 acres), an earthen berm system accessible by light-duty maintenance vehicles, and water supply system to the ponds using two solar-powered well pumps and water level control structures. The total project cost is estimated to be between $4 to $6 million with the federal government providing 75% of the funding.

The Project Partnership Agreement will require DLNR to pay the state cost share, estimated to be more than $1 million, which represents approximately 25% of the total project costs. The Army Corps will be responsible for the contracting and construction of the project. Once completed, the State will assume the responsibility to operate, maintain, and repair the project.

The construction phase of the project is expected to begin in 2011-2012.

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