USA: HTA Supports Kaanapali Beach Renourishment Plan

HTA Supports Kaanapali Beach Renourishment Plan

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) supports S.B. 497, which provides for matching funds for an environmental impact statement (EIS) associated with a planned beach renourishment project at Kaanapali Beach on the island of Maui.

The Kaanapali Operations Association is ready to provide $400,000 in matching funds for the preparation of the EIS for this beach restoration project. S.B. 497 makes an appropriation from the Beach Restoration Fund, which was established for the “planning, designing, development, or implementation of beach restoration projects.”

While the HTA believes that addressing beaches is an important issue for both visitors and the community, the responsibility for beach lands lies with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The HTA law does provide that $1,000,000 be provided … “to support the efforts of other state and county departments or agencies to manage, improve, and protect Hawai’i’s natural environment and areas frequented by visitors.”

Given HTA’s current allotment, it is not feasible for HTA to allocate any additional funds above the existing 51,000,000. Of the $350 million that the HTA estimates the TAT will generate, $153 million will go to the general fund.

The EIS for the Kaanapali Beach restoration project should be funded through the general fund and a federal beach renourishment fund.

[mappress]

Press Release, February 21, 2013

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