Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) Executive Director, Mike Naho’opi’i will give an update on the commission’s ambitious plans for a new Education and Operations Center in Kihei. Part of the Akakū Upstairs Summer Salon Series, the presentation, titled “Kaho’olawe — Sacred Island, Sacred Trust” will take place at 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 1, 2019, at Akaku Maui Community Media – 333 Dairy Rd., in Kahului.
Archeological evidence suggests that Hawaiians came to Kaho‘olawe as early as 400 A.D., settling in small fishing villages along the island’s coast. To date, nearly 3,000 archeological and historical sites and features paint a picture of Kaho‘olawe as a navigational and agricultural center and a site for religious and cultural ceremonies.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the island was transferred to the U.S. Navy for use as a bombing range. Litigation forced an end to the bombing in 1990. Following a 10-year period of ordnance removal, control of access to Kaho‘olawe was transferred to the State of Hawai‘i in 2003. Today, the KIRC is responsible for the restoration and management of the island.
A longtime member of the Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana (PKO) whose lengthy campaign brought the Navy’s bombing to an end in 1990, Naho’opi’i was formerly the US Navy’s Officer in Charge of Kaho’olawe during its conveyance to the State of Hawaii. He was Senior Manager during the Navy Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Cleanup Project and has been KIRC’s Executive Director since 2008.
KIRC has applied for permits and is actively seeking funding for a new Kaho’olawe Education and Operations Center on the property overlooking the nearby island from land adjacent to the Kihei Boat Ramp.
In addition to centralizing the group’s operations, the center will house a historical and interactive exhibit about Kaho’olawe, along with meeting spaces, classrooms, a visitor center, gift shop, amphitheater, and cafe.
Salons are held Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 pm in the Akakū Media Lab, 333 Dairy Road, Suite 204, in Kahului, just upstairs from the Akakū TV studios and KAKU Radio.