FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2022
Senate Communications: Jacob Aki
Līhuʻe, Kauai – Today, Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi (District 8 – Kauaʻi and Niʻihau) applauded the $1.9 million Department of Defense grant awarded by the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program to three organizations on Kauaʻi. This grant was awarded to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kekaha Agriculture Association (KAA) and the State of Hawaiʻi’s Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), and will be used to address flood impacts caused by sea level rise on the Mānā Plain.
Agricultural land owned by the ADC on the Mānā Plain in West Kauaʻi is facing an increased risk of flooding as sea levels continue to rise. This land is currently drained by a ditch system managed by KAA that runs through PMRF and drains into the Pacific Ocean. Experts predict that the sea-level will rise another two feet by 2050; therefore, there is a threat that this storm run-off will no longer drain naturally into the ocean, causing a multitude of issues.
“I am pleased to hear that the Department of Defense has awarded this grant to address the challenges that rising sea levels pose to our island home,” said Senate President Kouchi. “I want to extend a heartfelt mahalo to the environmental staff at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, the Kekaha Agriculture Association, Dr. Basil Gomez and the Agribusiness Development Corporation. The collaborative efforts of these organizations made this grant possible, and I look forward to seeing this vital project completed.”
According to the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, the project will achieve the following:
- Mitigate the effects of sea-level rise
- Improve the quality of water discharged from the agricultural drainage ditches into nearshore environment at PMRF
- Enhance PMRF’s efforts to promote conservation and preserve natural resources
- Make mission capabilites more resilient to climate change and severe weather events