KEALAKEKUA – A passionate community crowded the Konawaena Elementary School Cafeteria on Saturday afternoon to talk about the future of Kealakekua Bay.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks and consultant Belt Collins Hawaii are embarking on a Master Plan Update and an Environmental Impact Statement for the management and development of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. The public was invited to review and discuss the preliminary alternatives.
The DLNR says the goal of the park planning is “to balance the preservation of the cultural values and historical sites with the recreational use of the park.”
Opinions on the best future course of action varied. Some expressed their dissatisfaction for the years and money spent on past plans that were never implemented, while others said the state should have no jurisdiction at all over the sacred land. But almost everyone agreed that Kealakekua Bay is one of the most culturally and historically significant places in Hawaii and that some sort of action should be taken to preserve it.
“As we update our master planning for Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, we’ve made a concerted effort to integrate planning for the bay and ocean recreation with the land-based park and the concerns of the local community” said Curt Cottrell, DLNR State Parks Administrator, in a media release.
“We know how popular this bay is with both residents and visitors and are seeking input on management and development alternatives that will balance recreational use with the historical and cultural values of this very special place,” Cottrell said.
Before the meeting, DLNR and Belt Collins shared these files: