The Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Master Plan

The Kawainui-Hamakua Complex Master Plan Update represents a vision and call for community action for appropriate resource management. It is not a development plan. These wetlands are on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Click to read the DRAFT

Click to read the DRAFT

This master plan update includes elements supporting wetland restoration and upland reforestation, Hawaiian practices and stewardship, on-site learning activities focused on environmental and cultural subjects, and passive outdoor recreation.

This plan was developed with broad public input over the course of several years and numerous community meetings. Public input is integral to the planning process, as such, opportunities for public input will continue through 2015. The concepts within the plan will guide the natural, educational, and cultural values and management outcomes of Kawainui and Hamakua for current and future generations.


  • The most important components of this plan are the restoration and management of wetland and upland natural resources with a primary focus on recovery of endangered Hawaiian waterbird species. Upland areas would be re-established as native upland forest. Additionally, managing the Kawainui wetland is critical for maintaining its hydrological functions for flood control. Management is necessary to reverse the on going degradation of these wetlands.
  • Kawainui is the largest remaining freshwater wetland in the State of Hawaii. The Kawainui-Hamakua complex encompasses nearly 1000 acres. It is one of 36 wetlands in the U.S. designated a Ramsar Convention Wetlands of International Importance. It is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as a significant cultural complex.
  • The planning process for the master plan commenced in 2011 and has included information gathering and site visits; consultations with stake holders, community and Native Hawaiian organizations, and agencies; public informational meetings; and analysis of site constraints and consideration of alternatives. The environmental review process will begin in the fall of 2014, and it will discuss alternatives considered and provide additional opportunities for comment and input.
  • The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources DLNR) and its divisions of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and State Parks have jurisdiction over different areas within the complex based on the natural and cultural resources present.
  • The plan is intended to meet DLNR agency mission of restoration and habitat enhancement, integrating Hawaiian cultural practices, providing managed public access, creating educational and stewardship opportunities, and accommodating passive outdoor recreational use.

The following elements of the plan were driven by community interest and guidance as part of the planning process. Improvements would be implemented over time in phases subject to funding availability, phasing priorities, and adaptive management of the resource. DLNR does not intend to open areas unless DLNR is able to manage the area.

  • Community-based Hawaiian cultural organizations have made precedent-setting strides in stewardship and educational programming within the complex. Four areas have been conceptualized by the Hawaiian community to support living culture by non-profit organizations, and are not for commercial use. This will create opportunities for people of all ages to experience the integration of traditional and cultural practices that have informed effective resource management in Hawaii for hundreds of years.
  • Facilities incorporated into the plan are intended to support the uses programmed which consist of (1) areas to support cultural practices; (2) DLNR maintenance and operations; and (3) educational programs, stewardship activities, and public access and outdoor recreation. Support facilities allow for expansion of interpretive and educational opportunities, as well as community involvement in protecting and preserving Kawainui-Hamakua. Facilities would incorporate sustainable elements in their design.
  • The plan currently proposes a 5.7-mile-long perimet er path and a system of foot trails, providing designated access to areas for stewardship activities, nature viewing, and other forms of low-impact recreation.
  • There are three parking areas planned to be open to the public which are (1) at the education center; (2) park site across from Kalaheo High School; and (3) area across from Le Jardin Academy. All other parking area would have restricted access. These would be constructed using permeable materials. Gated entries will control vehicular access within the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex.
  • Groups of 25 or more will require a permit from DLNR. Note that small commercial tours and groups are currently visiting the site. Those activities require permits and will be better managed under the plan to minimize impacts on the site’s cultural and ecological resources.
  • Other improvements to support management of the area being planned include (1) fencing around property boundary; (2) predator fending around wetlands; (3) increasing staff for operations and enforcement; (4) contracting out to security firms and coordinating with non-profit organizations for monitoring activities; and (5) increased signage to facilitate enforcement.

To learn more about the project, opportunities to provide comments, and review the draft plan, please visit the project Web site at

4th of July at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Waikoloa Beach Resort invites the community to celebrate the pursuit of happiness, and their freedom to have fun, with ten free mini concerts on two stages, carnival food and games, the annual Rubber Duckie Race and musical sounds of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, capped off with spectacular fireworks over the Waikoloa Bowl.

Waikoloa FireworksNon-stop family entertainment starts at 11 a.m. with live music at Kings’ Shops, followed by the ever-popular Merriman’s Market Café Watermelon Eating contest and the Rubber Duckie Race to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii (UCPAH) at 3 p.m. Thousands of the bright yellow ducks take a “quack” at crossing the finish line first, with great prizes for winning waterfowl and 100% of the proceeds going to UCPAH. To adopt a duck, call Kings’ Shops office, at 886-8811.

At 12:30 p.m., Salsa Latinos fire up the music at Queens’ MarketPlace Coronation Pavilion, followed by the rocking rhythm of Girls Night Out, cruising into Tomi Isobe Blues Band, toe-tapping Friends of Bluegrass and Mystik Rhythmz, building up momentum for the big show in Waikoloa Bowl. Meanwhile, families from near and far enjoy free cotton candy, popcorn and more from 1-5 p.m. Throughout the shopping center, Balloon Sculpting, Photo Booth ($1), colorful Zoo Choo Train rides ($2) and carnival games (50 cents) treat the keiki to extra fun, in support of UCPAH.

Just after dark, a fireworks extravaganza lights up the sky at Waikoloa Bowl, and families are encouraged to come early to enjoy pre-show country music by the Michael Strand Band, and the full sound of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, with contemporary Hits and patriotic music leading into the rockets’ red glare. Gates open at 5 p.m., admission is free. Beach mats or chairs are welcome for open lawn seating (smoking, coolers and alcoholic beverages are not permitted). This is a non-smoking event.

Waikoloa Beach Resort would like to thank the Hawaii County Fire Department for co-sponsoring the community fireworks display. For more information visit or call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822.

July 4 Schedule of Events

Kings’ Shops

  • 11 a.m. Kahikina’s Nahenahe Ohana, traditional Hawaiian sounds
  • 12 p.m. Kris Fuchigami, contemporary Hawaiian, high energy ukulele
  • 1 p.m. Merriman’s Mediterranean Cafe, Watermelon Eating Contest
  • 1:30 p.m. Music by Laulima
  • 3 p.m. Rubber Duckie Race
  • 3:30 p.m. Dam Str8, contemporary Hawaiian, pop, rock classics and originals
  • 5 p.m. Duck Calling and Waddling Contests
  • 5:30 p.m. Award Ceremony

Queens’ MarketPlace, Coronation Pavilion

  • 12:30 p.m. Music by Salsa Latinos, name says it all
  • 1-5 p.m. Zoo Choo train rides, balloon sculpting, carnival games, photo booth, popcorn, and cotton candy. (Small fee for carnival games, photo booth and Zoo Choo rides to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii)
  • 2 p.m. Girls Nite Out, rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian, country
  • 3 p.m. Tomi Isobe Blues Band, blues to cruise by
  • 4 p.m. Friends of Bluegrass, Waikoloa’s best bluegrass
  • 5 p.m. Mystik Rhythmz, rock, reggae and blues
  • 8:30 p.m. Full Circle at the Coronation Pavilion, pop, rock and jazz to wind down the night

Waikoloa Bowl

  • 5 p.m. Gates open to Waikoloa Bowl
  • 5:30 p.m. The Michael Strand Band, country sounds to light up the night
  • 7 p.m. The U. S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, pop, rock & roll and patriotic music8 p.m. FIREWORKS SHOW

For more information visit or call 886-8822.

Health Department Issues Notice of Violation and Order Against Genesis Today and OfficeMax

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Genesis Today and OfficeMax, Inc. for late payments and reports required of beverage distributors by the state’s Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) Program law, also known as the HI-5 program. Both organizations were delinquent for the semi-annual reporting period from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

Department of Health
Hawaii Revised Statutes §342G-105 requires beverage distributors to submit semi-annual distributor reports and payments to DOH no later than the 15th calendar day of the month following the end of the payment period for the previous month. Both organizations received multiple warning letters to remind them of the reporting requirements prior to being assessed a penalty.

DOH has assessed a $400 administrative penalty against Genesis Today and an $800 administrative penalty against OfficeMax for failing to comply with DBC requirements. Both organizations may request a hearing to contest the alleged facts and penalty.

Since its inception in January 2005, the HI-5 program has recycled more than five billion containers. Each year, more than 900 million beverage containers are sold in Hawaii. The program was designed to encourage Hawaii consumers to recycle their beverage containers to prevent these containers from ending up in the waste stream or as litter.

As an incentive, the Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container Program places a 5 cent redeemable deposit on each beverage container. Consumers receive their 5 cents back when they return their containers to a redemption center. The fees are assessed to distributors such as Genesis Today and OfficeMax based on the reported number of beverages sold to consumers.

For more information on the state’s Deposit Beverage Container Program, visit

Police Department to Hold Community Meeting In Kea’au

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, July 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Keaʻau Community Center, located at 16-192 Pili Mua Street (off Old Volcano Highway).

HPDBadgeThe purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in the Puna District.

This Puna event continues the district community meetings, which are rotated throughout the eight police districts on the Big Island. To aid police commanders in focusing on specific concerns, it is requested that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the Puna District.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may call Captain Samuel Jelsma at 965-2716, stop by the Pāhoa police station, or e-mail their concerns or comments to

Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament August 15-17

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites anglers to enter the 18th annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament to be held August 15 through August 17.

Pictured are some of last year’s tournament awards Photo Credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Pictured are some of last year’s tournament awards
Photo Credit: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Again this year will be separate divisions for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kupuna 55 years and older, and ‘ohana. Entry fees are $20 per person for the keiki and senior divisions, $25 per person for the men’s and women’s divisions, and $20 per team for the ‘Ohana Division open to one adult and at least one keiki family member.

Entry forms must be turned in or postmarked by Friday, July 18. Forms are available at Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation swimming pools, gymnasiums and other facilities island-wide. They also can be picked up at S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown.

Tournament weigh-ins will be held from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 17, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium. An awards ceremony will follow, with valuable prizes for at least the 10 heaviest fish in each of the six divisions. Entrants must be present to receive prizes. No alcohol allowed on premises.

For more information, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2103 or 936-4285.