Honolua/Lipoa Point

 

Size: 244 acres
Year Protected: 2014
Land Protection Strategy: Facilitated conservation purchase
Conservation Values: Historic sites, recreational area for traditional Hawaiian sport of surfing, marine life preserve, open space, agriculture
Land Features: Coastline

 

A COMMUNITY VICTORY

After a seven-year community effort to save Honolua Bay and Lipoa Point, in 2014 the State of Hawaii purchased the 250-acre Lipoa Point property from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. for $19.5 million.

The now protected lands sit above Honolua Bay, a nationally recognized marine reserve with one of the highest fish numbers and biodiversity in the islands, tied to the unique and abundant reef structure home to rare coral species. Locals and tourists alike love Honolua for snorkeling and surfing. The lands include many sites including two heiau, boulders with grinding surfaces, house platforms, burial mounds and agricultural terraces. Honolua Bay continues to be a place of cultural practice through surfing - the sport of Hawaiʻi’s aliʻi, and voyaging - being the departure point for Hokule'a’s maiden voyage in 1976.

In 2007, in response to the threat of the development of 40 homes and a golf course along the pristine shoreline, the local community formed Save Honolua Coalition, and enlisted assistance from community partners and government agencies, including Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Surfrider Foundation, and ʻAha Moku o Kaʻanapali. Over the next seven years, the County of Maui contributed $1 million to kick off the effort, and a wave of community support grew through petitions, sign waving, hours of public testimony, community fundraising, and the introduction in 2013 of House Bill 1424 by Representatives McKelvey, Mele Carroll, Kaniela Ing, Joe Souki, Kyle Yamashita and Justin Woodson. The Bill authorized the purchase, and included Hawaiian Islands Land Trust in its language as a partner and resource to help the effort succeed. Senator Roz Baker and Representative Angus McKelvey championed the Bill, which Governor Abercrombie passed into law as State Act 241. The purchase deal had the added benefit of securing pension benefits for 1,600 retirees of the former Maui Land and Pineapple Inc.

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is working with the State and our partners on a community-based management plan for the protected Lipoa Point property.  If you are interested in participating in the planning discussions, contact Scott Fisher, HILT Chief Conservation Officer at scott@hilt.org.