WAIMEA — Anyone who lives or works on the Westside is invited to participate in the West Kauai Community Vulnerability Assessment that will assess the area’s vulnerability to hazards like sea level rise and explore solutions.
A kick-off meeting has been scheduled at Waimea Theatre from 5 to 8 p.m. July 31 starting with a free screening of “Miss South Pacific: Beauty and the Sea.”
After the kickoff meeting, a series of community meetings and field trips will be organized for the West Kauai community to share the latest scientific data and climate projections and gather input from the community.
“Kauai has been a leader in proactively addressing climate change and coastal development setbacks in Hawaii, and there is much more to do. This is an exciting opportunity to engage in collective decision-making on how to reduce community vulnerability to a rapidly changing environment,” said Makena Coffman, director of the Institute of Sustainability and Resilience at University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Dr. Daniele Spirandelli, coastal sustainability faculty with Hawaii Sea Grant and assistant professor at UH Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning who is leading the project, noted “some of the potential impacts from future sea-level rise raise serious concerns, but the solutions are not impossible, and the time to plan is now.”
The Vulnerability Assessment is a project of the UH Sea Grant College Program, UH Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the County of Kauai’s Planning Department.
“While the state of Hawaii is generating important information on hazards associated with climate change, the deep, longstanding understanding of these changes is the piece that is often missing,” a press release about the assessment announced.
“Community members are intimately familiar with the areas where they live, work and play, and have witnessed the changes that have occurred over time.”