Kilauea, Hawai`i – The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) announces their successful acquisition of a 12.2-acre parcel located at Kahili beach in Kilauea. The riverfront lot is now protected for public access and habitat, and will expand HILT’s abutting and existing beach front preserve which had been just 5.4 acres in size.
HILT secured funding for the acquisition through a grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund (“NAWCA”). The 12.2-acre parcel includes portions of the Kilauea river mouth and is adjacent to the eastern boundary of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (“KPNWR”). The acquisition creates a contiguous protected habitat area with KPNWR and reduces habitat fragmentation for the endangered species that utilize the area. This project was spearheaded by Dr. Gary Blaich, who served as President of the Kauai Public Land Trust until his passing in 2010. The Kauai Public Land Trust merged with three other land trusts around the state to form HILT in 2011.
The 12.2-acre property will now be kept undeveloped and open to the public in perpetuity by HILT. Kahili beach, also known as Rock Quarry beach, is a popular surfing, fishing and camping spot for residents and visitors. Because of the ongoing efforts led by Kilauea resident Gary Smith, who organizes beach clean-ups several times a year, Kahili is also one of the most pristine beaches on Kaua`i’s north shore.
“Dr. Blaich and the Kauai Public Land Trust board of directors as well as the current HILT board of directors recognized the importance of this land and worked diligently for several years to see it was protected,” said Jennifer Luck, Kaua`i Island Director for HILT. “We are very excited to have expanded our public Kahili beach preserve by over 12 acres with this acquisition as it greatly enhances an already special place where people can go to enjoy and connect with nature. On behalf of the HILT board of directors, I thank everyone who helped make this possible,” added HILT’s Executive Director Ted Clement. Beryl Blaich, Gary Blaich’s widow, said, “We are so grateful to the many people – in the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and HILT – who worked together, with such perseverance and diligence, through many challenges to obtain this amazing land where the river and ocean meet.”
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a nationally accredited non-profit organization with the mission of protecting the places that sustain us for current and future generations. HILT has protected over 17,500 acres across the State, including 186 acres on Kaua`i. The acquisition at Kahili beach is one of numerous acquisitions HILT will complete across the State in 2013. For more details on the organization and its protected lands, call (808) 244-5263 or visit www.hilt.org.