Funding Campaign Launched to Keep Kahoʻolawe Commission Afloat
By Maui Now Staff
Supporters of the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission have launched a funding campaign in an effort to ensure continued restoration of and access to the island.
Supporters say the legislature appropriated less than one-third of the requested $6 million for the upcoming biennium that begins on July 1, 2015.
According to the group’s GoFundMe fundraising page, Hawaiʻi State legislators challenged the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission to exhibit community support by raising funds to demonstrate community backing.
The campaign goal is to raise $100,000 in 30 days. With just nine days left, the group has raised less than a third of that or $31,792 by mid-day on Friday, June 5, 2015.
According to an email communication from a KIRC spokesperson, the group states that half of the KIRC staff will be laid off on June 30th if funding is not met.
“The remaining employees will attempt to carry on, while being subjected to severe budget and other restraints, including furloughs every other Friday,” a spokesperson said.
The KIRC was established by the Hawai’i State Legislature in 1993 to manage the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve while held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. The KIRC has pledged to provide for the meaningful and safe use of Kaho’olawe for the purpose of the traditional and cultural practices of the native Hawaiian people and to undertake the restoration of the island and its waters. Its mission is to implement the vision for Kahoʻolawe Island in which the body of Kahoʻolawe is restored and the people of Hawaiʻi care for the land. The organization is managed by a seven-member Commission and 18 staff.
In addition to donations, supporters are urging others to contact respective county, state, and federal representatives, expressing a need to fulfill their commitment to Kahoʻolawe.