Maui News


July 30, 2009, 11:39 AM HST
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Four Maui projects are among a list of renewable energy and water preservation initiatives included in a $34 million federal appropriations bill that passed in the Senate last night.

File image of Kula Forest Reserve located above the Waiohuli subdivision.  Heavy water flows filled the gulches in the upper elevations during the 2007 Winter storms on Maui.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

File image of Kula Forest Reserve located above the Waiohuli subdivision. Heavy water flows filled the gulches in the upper elevations during the 2007 Winter storms on Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

A total of $752,000 in funding is proposed for projects at ‘Iao Stream, Maalaea Harbor, Waiohuli, and the West Maui Watershed.

The largest Maui allocation of $250,000 is for plans and agreements covering the Iao Stream Flood Control project.  Smaller appropriation would fund navigational improvements at Maalaea Harbor; a flood study at Waiohuli in Upcountry Maui; and a feasibility study at the West Maui Watershed focusing on flood impacts, ecosystem restoration and shoreline protection.

The measure now advances to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill.


The bill passed out of the Senate in an 85-9 vote with both Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka voting in support.


“Given our dependence on imported energy, Hawaii is susceptible to fluctuating oil costs and our consumers are at the mercy of gas prices set by Mainland and foreign markets,” said Senator Inouye.  “We must develop clean, renewable energy technology in order to protect our pristine environment and control the cost of power generation for our residents.”

Senator Daniel K. Akaka lauded the bill’s passage and stressed that the funds would help bolster multiple sectors of Hawaii’s economy.  “This bill will spark innovation in clean energy sources that will reduce pollution and our dependence on imported oil,” said Senator Akaka.  “It invests in Hawaii with resources for flood control, harbor improvements, and renewable energy that will save money, safeguard communities, and boost our economy.”

Details of Maui specific projects are as follows:

  • Iao Stream $250,000:  This initiative is to complete the plans and specifications package and prepare the draft Project Cooperation Agreement for the Iao Stream Flood Control project.  The project protects the town of Wailuku, Maui.  The project was not fully lined due to limited project funding and benefits.  Numerous storm events of high velocity flows within the steeply sloped channel have occurred over the years and resulted in recurring damages to the stream channel, particularly to the right bank levee toe of the unlined section of the project.
  • Maalaea Harbor $202,000: Funds for this initiative are to complete the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) Phase for the Maalaea Harbor.  The objective of the project is to improve navigational access by realigning the entrance channel, and modifying/extending the breakwater to attenuate surge within the harbor, thus, eliminating damage to vessels.
  • Waiohuli Flood Study $200,000: The purpose of this initiative is to conduct a flood plain study of the Waiohuli area (Upcountry Maui) on the Island of Maui.  The Upcountry Maui area is prone to flooding as was highlighted during the December 2007 storms.
  • Waiohuli Flood Study $200,000: The objective of this initiative is to initiate a cost-shared feasibility study.  The reconnaissance study identified flood damage reduction, aquatic and marine ecosystem restoration, and shoreline protection projects that could be undertaken by the Corps of Engineers along with County and State agency partners.

(Posted by Wendy Osher, Information provided by the Office of U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye)

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