Maui News

Case to talk about designating Ka’ena Point as a National Heritage area

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Kaʻena Point on Oʻahu features the last intact sand dune ecosystem in Hawaiʻi and is said to be named after a sibling of the Hawaiian goddess Pele. Photo Courtesy: Lindsay Young

Hawaiʻi Congressman Ed Case returns home after being sworn into office for the next two years. During his first full district work period, he plans to discuss a number of issues with Hawaiʻi residents, including the advancement of a “Ka’ena Point National Heritage Area.”

Case is expected to discuss the steps toward getting Ka’ena Point designated as a National Heritage Area when he speaks on the program “Conversation” on Hawaiʻi Public Radio on Friday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to noon. Former land board chair William Aila is expected to be on the air during the program.

The US Senate and House passed a bill to study the merits of declaring Ka’ena Point a National Heritage Area — a measure co-sponsored by Rep. Case.


The results of the study could lead to additional federal funding regularly to the environmentally sensitive 1,500-acre west Oʻahu area, which is home to endangered species and intact sand dunes.

The area includes the last intact sand dune ecosystem in Hawaiʻi and a leina a kauhane, an important recognized cultural site that, according to some Hawaiian traditions, is where the souls of the deceased leapt into the next plane of existence.

Kaena Point is also home to various protected species, including the Laysan albatross and monk seals, as well as wedge-tailed shearwaters and fragile native plants. Kaena Point is mainly under state ownership.


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has created a management plan for the Kaʻena Point Stewardship Areas to protect one of the few remaining easily accessible wilderness areas on the island.


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