Maui News

Maui County Selects Global Firm To Support Climate Change, Resilience & Sustainability Program

November 12, 2021, 12:30 PM HST
* Updated November 12, 12:31 PM
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During a project to address climate change, resilience and sustainability for Maui County, global firm Stantec will create heat maps to address unique heat and fire risks. File Photo of 2021 Kīhei fire: John O’Leary

The County of Maui has selected Stantec — a global engineering, architecture and consulting firm — to support the development and implementation of a whole-systems approach for its climate change, resilience and sustainability program.

The Office of Climate Change, Resilience and Sustainability (CCRS) within the Office of the Mayor will lead the integrated approach.

Stantec will work closely with CCRS to identify scalable solutions and tools to support a sustainable and resilient future for the County of Maui. The project, informed by strong public participation, will consider the complex linkages among Maui’s ecological, social and economic systems. Stantec’s work will focus on three key components:

  • Heat Map: Using socio-economic information in concert with current climate data and projections to identify vulnerable populations as a result of shifting climate and to inform equitable solutions to address unique heat and fire risks.
  • Resilient Housing: Developing a Resilient Maui Housing Guide in partnership with local officials, designers, builders and community-focused nonprofits. The plan will incorporate multi-hazard designs as well as lines of new construction and retrofits with consideration of affordability.
  • Planning for Renewables: Using an equity centered approach to assess Maui County’s current energy system and planning for a sustainable and resilient energy future. It is critical that Maui County continue to pursue renewable energy investments and sustainability goals to meet its future energy needs. 

Island communities are increasingly vulnerable to more frequent and intense climate change impacts, including wildfires, coral bleaching, drought, flooding, extreme weather events, sea level rise, and changes in species distribution, disease and disease patterns. The Hawaiian community is closely connected to the environment and its resources, and these climate stressors are threatening economic opportunity, cultural integrity and human wellbeing on the Islands, as well as water, food and energy supplies.

“Our communities are becoming more susceptible to frequent and powerful climate change impacts,” said Nancy Convard, Stantec’s environmental services lead and project manager. “These impacts are threatening our way of life on the Islands and it’s imperative we develop a comprehensive, adaptive and dynamic approach to meet Maui’s needs today and for generations to come. We look forward to getting underway.”

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The project is expected to be complete at the end of 2022.

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Stantec’s energy and resources team is creating a sustainable future by transforming the energy market. Contributing to the company’s focus on Energy Transition outlined within its Strategic Plan, Stantec’s portfolio includes large scale energy storage projects like the Gregory County Pumped Storage feasibility study and the completed Gull Bay First Nations Diesel Offset Microgrid. Learn more here.

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