• Kaloko fishpond wall is over 800 ft long and spans a natural cove

    Kaloko-Honokōhau

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

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Kaloko-Honokōhau NHP

News Release

Tammy Duchesne, Superintendent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2013 8083296881 x1201

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE REQUESTS GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT AREA DESIGNATION

Today the National Park Service filed a petition with the State of Hawai`i Commission on Water

Resource Management (Water Commission) asking them to designate the Keauhou Aquifer of North

Kona as a Water Management Area for groundwater. The National Park Service acted in order to seek

the state’s assistance in the careful management of culturally and environmentally significant water

resources in and around KalokoHonokōhau National Historical Park.

Water management areas are management units where the state Water Commission has established

administrative control over the withdrawal of groundwater. Water management areas ensure the

reasonablebeneficial use of the water resources in a manner consistent with the public interest.

Currently in the Keauhou Aquifer the impacts of water withdrawal on the surrounding environment and

public trust uses of water are not explicitly considered in the permitting of new wells. In designated

water management areas, entities wishing to withdraw groundwater must show that their proposed

uses are reasonable, beneficial, and are consistent with the public interest.

Groundwater availability is critical to support the purposes, values and resources for which the

Park was established, as well as coastal ecosystems, fisheries, tourism, and recreation

throughout the area. The anchialine pools, fishponds, tide pools, and the near shore

environment are home to species such as limu (seaweed), `ama`ama (mullet), and `opae `ula

(shrimp) prized by Native Hawaiians. The Park also provides habitat for endangered waterbirds

such as the Hawaiian coot and stilt and candidate species such as two anchialine pool shrimp

species and the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly . The continued health and existence of these

biological resources depend on the continued flow of clean, abundant groundwater from

mauka (upland) areas within the aquifer system.

Since the Park’s establishment, substantial groundwater development has occurred within the Keauhou

Aquifer. Despite six years of efforts by the Water Commission, the Park, and other stakeholders to

address the potential impacts of proposed development at the Kona Water Roundtable and other

venues, no plan has been produced to protect waterdependent cultural and natural resources from the

cumulative effects of groundwater withdrawals. Given the sensitivity and importance of these

resources and importance of water to all stakeholders, including the community living in this area, proactive

management of groundwater withdrawals is urgently needed

EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Ola i ka wai water is life and the spirit of Kaloko Honokōhau National Historical Park. We filed this

petition because of our deep commitment to preserve and protect nationally significant resources and

public trust uses that depend on fresh water,” said Park Superintendent Tammy Duchesne. “We request

the Water Commission begin the process of designating the Keauhou Aquifer as a Water Management

Area for groundwater for this and future generations.”

The Water Commission will have the opportunity to review the petition and investigate the information.

Based on the review, they will determine whether to hold a public hearing in the area to take testimony

from all interested parties on the idea of designation.

***

Kaloko Honokōhau National Historical Park was established in 1978 to preserve, interpret, and

perpetuate traditional Native Hawaiian activities, values and culture and to demonstrate historic land

use patterns. For more information about the park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/kaho or call (808)

3296881.

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