Army Corps of Engineers breaks ground on Hawaii marsh project
July 5, 2012
KAILUA, Hawaii (Army News Service, July 5, 2012) -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground for the construction of the Kawainui Marsh Environmental Restoration Project, June 28, in Kailua, O'ahu.
"Restoring the wetland in Kawainui Marsh is of vital importance," said Paul Conry, Division of Forestry and Wildlife administrator. "Kawainui is one of the last large remaining wetland complexes in the state."
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, or DLNR, has been working with the Corps and the Kailua community for more than 15 years to develop a habitat restoration project for the 830-acre Kawainui Marsh. The project implements the wildlife habitat restoration components of the 1994 Kawainui Marsh Master Plan and Hawai'i Endangered Waterbird Recovery Plans.
The project will also serve as the foundation for educational, environmental, cultural, recreational, community and volunteer efforts to restore the wildlife habitat in the marsh.
"Restoring its ecological functions to provide productive habitat for our endangered waterbirds will help to ensure we have these populations of endangered native birds in the future," Conry said.
The project will help to restore habitat for four endangered native waterbirds on O'ahu, the endangered koloa maoli,o, which is the Hawaiian duck,; ae'o, the Hawaiian stilt; 'alae 'ula, the Hawaiian moorhen; and 'alae ke'oke'o; the Hawaiian coot.
"We are looking forward to finally implementing this project with our partners, the Army Corps of Engineers and the community," said William J. Aila Jr., DLNR chairperson. "Habitat restoration is expected to increase populations of endangered waterfowl, create scenic open space, reduce upland runoff to coastal reefs and remove invasive weeds from the marsh."
The total project area of nearly 40 acres will include: 11 terraced shallow ponds, an earthen berm system accessible by light-duty maintenance vehicles and a water supply system to the ponds using solar-powered well pumps and water level control structures.
The total project cost is projected to be $6,426,000, with the federal government providing 75 percent of the funding. The Corps is responsible for the design and construction of the project. Once completed, the state will assume the responsibility to operate, maintain and repair the project. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2013.