Maui News

Kīlauea Point Lighthouse Renamed in Honor of Inouye

April 9, 2013, 1:29 PM HST
* Updated April 9, 3:26 PM
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James W. Kurth, Chief of National Wildlife Refuge System;  Representative Colleen Hanabusa; Irene Hirano Inouye; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Assistant Secretary for Policy, Budget and Management Rhea Suh; National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and Senator Brian Schatz. Photo courtesy: Office of Sen. Schatz.

James Kurth, Chief of National Wildlife Refuge System; US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa; Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Assistant Secretary for Policy, Budget and Management Rhea Suh; National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and US Sen. Brian Schatz. Photo courtesy of the office of Sen. Schatz.

By Wendy Osher

Kaua’i’s Kīlauea Point Lighthouse was renamed today in honor of the late US Sen. Daniel Inouye, the US Department of the Interior announced today.

A name-change signing ceremony was held today, with a formal dedication ceremony planned at the lighthouse on May 4, 2013, officials said.

It was one of several landmarks, roadways and buildings that were identified by government leaders for potential name changes in honor of Inouye.

In February, the state House passed two concurrent resolutions to rename the Kilauea Point Lighthouse on Kauai (HCR41), and designate Hawaii Island’s Saddle Road as the Daniel K. Inouye Legacy Highway (HCR 42), in honor of the late senator.


Also in February, the University of Hawaiʻi renamed four facilities and programs in honor of the late Inouye, including the newly renamed Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in Kahului.


A separate bill that was introduced in honor of Inouye on Maui sought to rename the Mokulele Highway the Daniel K. Inouye Veteran’s Highway, in recognition of the senator’s work in obtaining federal transportation funds for the state.

Today’s announcement regarding the Kīlauea Point Lighthouse came from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar who described Inouye as “an American hero” with a “long and distinguished career.”

“His contribution to the American people will be forever memorialized on the lighthouse that stands as a monument to Hawai’i’s colorful past. His legacy will continue to shine a light on the preservation and conservation of the island’s wildlife and cultural heritage,” Salazar said in a press release today.


US Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawai’i, who was among those who attended the signing ceremony, said, “Dan Inouye dedicated his life to public service and was committed to ensuring the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge had the resources it needed to guarantee its preservation.”

Interior officials described Inouye as a “key supporter of the establishment of Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.”

The lighthouse is located at the northernmost point of Kaua’i and has served as a beacon and guiding light for ships traveling along the north shore of the island.  The lighthouse was deactivated by the Coast Guard in 1976, and replaced with an automatic beacon.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1979, and was recently restored, the agency said.

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