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Famous Hawaii Land Saved With Support From Both Republicans and Democrats

Seven-mile coastline where Obama’s mother’s and grandmother’s ashes were spread protected with widespread bipartisan support

The Ka Iwi Coast on the eastern tip of Oahu will be forever preserved from development, ending a 40-year-long battle to preserve the area, The Trust for Public Land and a group of local partners announced today.  The announcement involved the last 182 acres which could have been developed along the 7-mile-long coast.

The area is near where the ashes of former President Barack Obama’s mother and grandmother were spread at Lanai Lookout, and he has surfed at the coast’s famed Sandy Beach.

The Trust for Public Land bought the property a year ago for $3.65 million and finished its sale last week to a local group, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui.  The state of Hawaii and city of Honolulu have imposed restrictions which would block any future development.  Previous owners had proposed buildings resorts or luxury homes at the site.

Will Rogers, President of  The Trust for Public Land, noted that “both Republican and Democratic state legislators have strongly supported this project.  This is the kind of bipartisan support which has helped us save more than 43,000 acres in Hawaii since 1978.  Preserving special places is important to Hawaii residents and visitors, and all Americans, whatever their political beliefs.”

The Ka Iwi coast is a key navigational landmark between Oahu and Molokai for fisherman and boaters.  The Ka Iwi channel is important to native Hawaiians, and is steeped in ancient stories, such as being one of the places where the volcano goddess Pele struck her legendary digging stick looking for a fiery home.

The money to fund the purchase came from a variety of sources, including more than 1,600 individuals, who helped raise more than $600,000.  Additional funds came from the state of Hawaii and the city of Honolulu.

“It is truly inspiring to see how the entire community – both Democrats and Republicans, surfers and fishermen, keiki and kupuna (children and elders) – have come together to fight for nearly half a century to preserve this rugged, wild stretch of coastline,” said Lea Hong, Hawaii director of, The Trust for Public Land. “Each time some new development was proposed, the public rallied to protect this treasured shoreline, keeping it in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.”

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

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