USACE awards $19 million cultural monitoring contract to AEPAC
News Release from USACE, Oct 16, 2023
KIHEI, Hawai‘i — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $18.7 million contract today to AEPAC, based out of Honolulu, for cultural monitoring of the debris-related Federal Emergency Management Agency missions assigned to USACE in response to the Aug. 8 wildfires in Maui County. Cultural monitoring on Maui is a comprehensive approach to help minimize further harm to the unique cultural heritage of Hawai‘i and Native Hawaiian people. It involves collaboration between various stakeholders, including Native Hawaiians, government agencies, developers, and the broader community, with the goals of preserving and honoring the cultural richness of Hawai‘i and accommodating responsible environmental stewardship.
“Cultural awareness of the impacted communities is a top priority. We are employing cultural observers during the entire process to ensure we respect the community, culture and recovery efforts,” said Col. Jess Curry, Recovery Field Office commander.
AEPAC, as the prime contractor, will be responsible for project management and oversight of all contracted activities, and they have. subcontracted multiple Native Hawaiian Organizations for this multifaceted effort.
--Nā ‘Aikāne o Maui, Inc., will provide cultural observers for site assessments, cultural surveys and debris removal activities;
--‘Āina Archaeology, LLC will oversee all aspects of fieldwork to include cultural resource surveys and archaeological monitoring; (Co-owned by Malia Kaahue, of DTL Hawaii. Fun Read: Ethics Ruling: How DTL Pays Senator Delacruz -- Legally)
--the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will provide cultural advisors to act as cultural liaisons to/for USACE;
--AEPAC and Brandis Sarich Art + Architecture, LLC will conduct research and provide architectural surveys.
“Having the cultural observers in place prior to the commencement of the Phase 2 of the debris removal mission is key to ensuring USACE personnel and its contractors can perform their work for the people of Maui with confidence that items of cultural importance are going to be protected,” said Curry.
For information on the Hawai‘i wildfire response or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visit https://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Response/Hawaii-Wildfires/.