Money flowing to Nawiliwili Bay project

LIHU’E – The Nawiliwili Bay Watershed Council will apply for $106,000 in

state funds for a study of the condition of five streams and rivers that empty

into Nawiliwili Bay and to clean and protect them.

The project, if

approved, will help protect an area that is closed more often than any other

shoreline area on Kaua’i due to pollution, said Don Heacock, a state wildlife

biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources office on the


The funds are among $350 ,000 in state funds that are also

available for similar projects on O’ahu and Moloka’i.

During heavy rain,

debris and pollution find their way into Huleia River, Puali Stream, Nawiliwili

Stream, Kalapaki Stream and Papalinahoa Stream and float into Nawiliwili Bay,

Heacock said.

Pollution sometimes seeps into drinking water resources,

according to the state health department. Outdated Kaua’i County drainage laws

also have contributed to the pollution problem, Heacock said.

Heacock, who

is associated with the Nawiliwili Bay Watershed Council and the Pacific Island

Sustainable Community Ecosystems, said the funds will help officials “find out

what is wrong with the health of the watershed, so we can make it well and

happy again.”

The goal of the Nawiliwili council, formed last year, is to

conserve and restore the resources of Nawiliwili Bay, Heacock said.


Island Sustainable Community Ecosystems, a non-profit group, wants to restore

native ecosystems, build economically viable and sustainable communities and

create jobs and self-sufficiency for Kaua’i and other Pacific islands, Heacock


Other watershed councils are forming in Hanama’ulu, Wailua and

Moloa’a, Heacock said.

As a way to protect other watershed areas on

Kaua’i, a provision is needed in the General Plan Update to support formation

of watershed councils, he said.

“The health of the communities are

directly related to them,” Heacock said.

The $106,150 that Kaua’i is

eligible to receive is among is from the Clean Water Act’s Unified Watershed

Assessment funds.

Ko’olaupoko on O’ahu and South Molokai will be eligible

for $150,000 and $106,150, respectively.

The funds are for areas the

state feels are highly prone to pollution.

The three designated areas have

funding priority over others because they do not meet, or face imminent threat

of not meeting clean water and other natural resources goals of the state,

according to officials.

Community groups, environmental consultants,

schools, public and private non-profit organizations have until Oct. 27 to

apply for the funds.

Similar funds have been allocated to projects at

Pelekane Bay on the Big Island and on Mau’i.

Staff writer

Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and [



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