MAHA’ULEPU — The Sierra Club’s Malama Kahakai (Keep it Wild) campaign is
concentrating here on the southeast coast of Kaua’i.
The area, which the
environmental group has identified as one of Hawaii’s top seven remaining
wilderness shorelines, will be the focus of a meeting next Tuesday evening at
6:30 p.m. at Koloa Community Library.
The presentation will be overseen by
the club’s new coastal conservation coordinator on Kaua’i, Beryl
Blaich said the coastal property has been owned by Grove Farm, one
of Kaua’i’s oldest sugar and land development companies, for more than 50
“We’re so hoping that this can be a cooperative venture with the
landlord. Basically, Grove Farm is not planning anything (development) at this
time. But whoever the landlord is or shall be, we need to be acting now for the
green space of the future,” Blaich said.
According to the Sierra Club,
Grove Farm has been a good steward of the land.
“By keeping the coastal
area open during the day and closing the access gate at night, Grove Farm has
generously maintained the coastal area as a de facto public park. In addition,
the company is highly supportive of the important research conducted there,”
according to Blaich’s essay about Maha’ulepu, published in the current Journal
of the Hawai’i Chapter of the Sierra Club.
But, worried about the future of
the area—a prime spot for more development because of various past proposals
which haven’t been implemented—the Sierra Club has already partnered with
Malama Maha`ulepu, a Poi’pu citizen group with a history of battling
The club wants people to remember that the area is a vital
natural habitat for many species on the federal Endangered Species list,
including Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene goose, plus the Hawaiian monk seal and
the green sea turtle.
Additional information is available from Blaich at
Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at
245-3681 (ext. 252).