Friday, March 19, 2004

Federal funds aid
purchase of preserve

WAIHEE, Maui >> U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye announced this week the allocation of $1 million in federal funds to complete the purchase of the 277-acre Waihee Preserve in northwestern Maui, including wetlands and ancient sand dunes.

Inouye toured the preserve, described it as a "spot in heaven" and praised a partnership formed among government, nonprofit groups and businesses in helping to purchase the land from Waihee Oceanfront Hawaii Inc. for $4.8 million.

Officials with the Maui Coastal Land Trust, the nonprofit group purchasing the parcel for preservation, said the final commitment of $1 million is coming from the coastal and estuarine land conservation program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Land trust Director Dale Bonar said the NOAA funding indicates the preserve's significance at the national level.

Bonar said the preserve is a "conservation jewel" with wetlands, an ancient Hawaiian village and a 1.5-mile pristine shoreline.


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