Maui News

Hawaiian Electric announces long-term protection plan for Maui’s seabirds

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Hawaiian Electric today announced it is taking steps to prepare a long-term Habitat Conservation Plan in collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“In April 2022, Hawaiian Electric sent letters to the USFWS and DLNR proactively committing to the development of an HCP,” company representatives said in a press release.

The HCP is being developed to expand the protection of native seabirds on Maui. As part of its HCP, Hawaiian Electric reports it will further evaluate company-owned infrastructure located across Maui for risks to seabirds.

Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project.

“Such additional measures through an HCP should help to minimize and mitigate potential impacts on seabird species, such as the endangered ‘a‘o or the Newell’s shearwater and the ‘ua‘u or Hawaiian petrel, and provide long-term benefits to the species and their habitats,” according to the release.


The action comes as a settlement agreement was finalized last week with the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui, resolving an Endangered Species Act case brought by Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and the Center for Biological Diversity, which were represented by Earthjustice. In accordance with the settlement agreement, the resort has implemented protective measures, including reducing lighting, to help protect the endangered ‘ua‘u, or Hawaiian petrel. 

“Since 2007, Hawaiian Electric has worked with government regulators, community organizations and wildlife agencies – including the USFWS, DLNR and Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project – to implement measures to reduce potential impacts of its facilities on seabirds. Those measures include shielding facility lighting and altering power lines on the five islands it serves,” the company reports.

Representatives say the company also continues to promote seabird survival and recovery through support of the MNSRP Save Our Seabirds partnership on Maui, to help minimize threats to federally- and state-protected seabirds.


Under Hawaiian Electric’s protected species program, the company is a member of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee – a national organization that leads the electric utility industry in protecting avian wildlife while enhancing reliable energy delivery.  


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