to Noe Tanigawa's Story
January 9, 2007
SAVE THE KALAELOA (BARBER’S POINT) SINKHOLES!
Aloha, everyone! Please kökua if you can. We need written and/or
oral testimony supporting the permanent protection of approx. 6 acres
of sinkholes at Kalaeloa (Barber’s Point).
The Estate of James Campbell and its developer, Kapolei Property
Development, LLC, have petitioned the LUC to reclassify nearly 350
acres in Campbell Industrial Park from Agriculture to Urban, in order
to develop the Kapolei Harborside Center – a mix of commercial
and industrial development. The LUC docket number is A06-763. The
entire petition and amended petition can be found at http://luc.state.hi.us/
We need to show strong public support for protecting the sinkholes
in perpetuity by generating written and oral testimony to the LUC.
All written and oral testimony will be part of the record and considered
by the LUC.
Please send written testimony to the LUC no later than Tuesday,
January 30, 2007
Mail: Land Use Commission
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
P.O. Box 2359
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96804-2359
Fax: (808) 587-3827
Phone: (808) 587-3822
The LUC will also take oral testimony from the public on Thursday,
February 1, 2007, 10 am in Room 204 of the State Office Tower (Leiopapa
A Kamehameha Building) at 235 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI
96813. Please come and testify if you can!
Please include the Recommendations below in your testimony to the
LUC. Email a copy of your testimony to the Conservation Council for
Hawai’i at email@example.com. Forward this message to others.
For more information, contact me at CCH in Honolulu: 593-0255 or
E ho’omau! Mahalo nui loa for your kökua!
Recommendations to the LUC (to include in your testimony)
* Require the Estate to donate the proposed 6-acre sinkhole preserve
to the State of Hawai‘i so that it qualifies for inclusion
in the state Natural Area Reserves System. The Estate will benefit
financially from the development of nearly 350 acres in the area.
Donating the proposed 6-acre preserve to the state would help ensure
adequate protection of this special site.
* Amend the state land use classification for the proposed sinkhole
preserve from Agriculture to Conservation to help protect this land
from future development.
* Replace the existing fence around the sinkholes with a stronger
new fence. Include the wet sinkhole and any other sinkholes that
are nearby and currently outside the existing fenced area. Clearly
mark the existing and any new fence. Brief construction crews about
protecting the sinkhole preserve during any construction or modification
of the adjacent land.
* Establish a permanent or revolving fund to cover the costs of
regular fence maintenance, fence replacement in the future, and educational
* Continue working with the interested public, citizen organizations,
scientific community, and government agencies to ensure the long-term
protection of proposed sinkhole preserve.
* Include the above recommendations as a condition of any amendment
to the state land use boundary for the project area.
Background and Additional Talking Points
* Commend the landowner and developer for proposing to protect the ‘sinkholes.
Future generations will be able to learn about this significant site,
which is eligible for inclusion on the Hawai’i Register of
* These sinkholes are part of a coral reef formed about 120,000
years ago when sea level was higher. Today, this area consists of
weathered karst (limestone substrate) dotted with sinkholes formed
by chemical weathering by rain.
* There used to be thousands of sinkholes on the raised reef from
Wai’anae to Barber’s Point, but 99 percent of them
have been lost to agriculture, development, and deliberate destruction.
The sinkholes are rare. The story they tell is almost too bizarre
to be true!
* Unique and extinct Hawaiian bird bones and Hawaiian land snail
shells have been found in the sinkholes. Extinct birds found at the
Kalaeloa sinkholes include the moa nalo (a large flightless goose-like
duck), geese, two species of crow, a long-legged owl, a hawk, a sea
eagle, gapers, flightless rails, a small petrel, and new Hawaiian
honeycreepers. These birds are known only from the archaeological
record, having gone extinct before 1778. They were unknown to science
until their discovery beginning in the 1970s.
* Many of these birds have been described and named by renowned
avian paleontologists, Storrs Olson and Helen James, of the Smithsonian
Institution. Birds found in the sinkholes have been described recently
by Dr. James and her students at the Smithsonian, which could provide
clues to even more fascinating Hawaiian birds of our past.
* Bones of birds still found elsewhere in Hawai’i today were
also found in the Barber’s Point sinkholes, including the palila
(an endangered forest bird now restricted to Mauna Kea) and the dark-rumped
petrel or ‘ua‘u (an endangered seabird no longer found
* Evidence of the Native Hawaiian culture is present in the area,
and ‘öpae ‘ula (tiny native red shrimp) also have
been found in brackish water in at least one of the remaining sinkholes.
* Over the past 30 years, environmental, Native Hawaiian, and educational
organizations have led educational field trips to the sinkholes.
Hundreds of students, teachers, and others have learned about,
and enjoyed visiting this fascinating area.