Kahoʻolawe Restoration Projects Get Funds Under New Law
Governor David Ige signed a bill into law that provides funding to the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission for clean-up, restoration and preservation projects on the island.
House Bill 2034, now Act 72, provides the commission with $450,000 in general funds for fiscal year 2016-17 to restore and preserve the natural, cultural and historic resources on Kahoʻolawe.
The bill also requires the commission to submit a financial self-sufficiency and sustainability plan at least 20 days prior to the start of the 2017 legislative session.
Kaho‘olawe was used as a bombing range for years by the military. Today, the island remains littered with unexploded ordnance and was found to have extensive erosion and other ecological problems; however, the island is also home to thousands of archaeological and other cultural and historic sites.
Since 1994, the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission has been primarily funded by the federal government, allowing the commission to establish innovative restoration projects that emphasize ancestral and traditional knowledge.
The federally funded Kaho‘olawe Island Conveyance Commission’s final report to Congress in 1993 said that federal funds will provide the bulk of the program’s support in the short-term. The report said state revenues will be needed in the long-term to continue to enhance the activities that were initiated with federal funds.