Saturday, July 21, 2001

Grants offered to
improve water quality

The Kailua Bay Advisory Council
may spend $1.5 million
for Windward proposals

By Diana Leone

Disgusted with stinky water in Enchanted Lake?

Seen one too many algae blooms on the Waimanalo Coast?

Wondering how much more sediment Kaneohe Bay can handle?

If you have a solution to these or other water quality problems in the Koolaupoko Watershed, the Kailua Bay Advisory Council may have some money for you.

This week, the nonprofit, private organization mailed requests for proposals soliciting grant applications to improve water quality in Kaneohe, Kailua and Waimanalo bays.

"It's a great opportunity to address improving water quality in Koolaupoko, through the efforts of individuals, community groups, schools and government," said council Director Maile Bay. "We're hoping for a great response."

The council could spend as much as $1.5 million in this round of proposals or may concentrate on fewer proposals and take more later.

The council was created and given responsibility for water-quality improvement under a 1995 consent decree settling a lawsuit filed by four environmental groups against the city and county of Honolulu.

Plaintiffs were Save Our Bays and Beaches, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation.

Things are looking up for the 72-square-mile watershed because of completed and ongoing improvements to the area's two sewage treatment plants since the suit was filed.

However, the area still gets a priority ranking among statewide sites.

Grants will be offered in the following six areas:

>> Education: Inform the community and school students about problems and solutions for Windward water quality, through classroom materials, workshops, stream cleanups and more.

>> Erosion control: Propose plantings to stop erosion and runoff at bald spots along highway cuts and other locations.

>> Higher education: Teach college students water quality monitoring techniques while increasing the scientific database of information about Windward water quality.

>> Kailua waterways: Find a way to clear up bacteria, trash and other pollutants in Kailua's Oneawa Canal, other town canals and Kaelepulu Pond (also known as Enchanted Lake).

>> Sampling: Take regular water samples to look for health risk indicators, such as E. coli and salmonella.

>> Restoration: Revitalize wetlands, improve stream channels, manage storm water, re-vegetate stream banks and more.

As much as $4.1 million more may be available in matching state and federal funds.

For interested applicants

>> For more information and grant application forms, see Applications are due by 4 p.m. Aug. 16.
>> A question-and-answer session for potential applicants will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Atherton Hall (downstairs) at the Kokokahi YWCA Camp in Kaneohe.
>> The quarterly business meeting of the eight-member Kailua Bay Advisory Council will be at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at Hale Kuhina Room 106, Windward Community College.

E-mail to City Desk

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