It’s time to celebrate Pupukea-Paumalu
The preservation of the North Shore coastal bluff will be marked in a community event tomorrow.
Rain or shine, tomorrow will be a bright day as a community celebrates preservation of the 1,129-acre Pupukea-Paumalu coastal bluff at Sunset Beach Elementary School.
Once intended as a site for luxury home development, the North Shore land will receive perpetual protection as a natural area because of the community groups and individuals who worked resolutely for more than two decades to keep it that way. They all deserve the public's appreciation.
The preservation area includes a near-shore parcel, which the city will oversee, and the scenic highlands above that offer panoramic views of Sunset Beach and Banzai Pipeline, most of which the state will manage. The land eventually will be used for public hiking, outdoor education and native plant restoration.
Among those deserving commendation are the North Shore Community Land Trust, led by Blake McElhany, who tirelessly built a collaborative effort, the Trust for Public Land, the state, city, Hawaii's congressional delegation, the U.S. Army, the Surfrider Foundation and the numerous residents and businesses who supported the idea that the small piece of rural Oahu should remain unspoiled.
The island has too few places like Pupukea-Paumalu. In fact, a recent ranking by the National Geographic Traveler magazine listed Oahu as "in serious trouble" because of overwhelming urban development and "very intense human occupation." The magazine did note that the island's rural areas still held the natural beauty Hawaii claims. However, they are fast becoming the exception.
That's all the more reason to celebrate Pupukea-Paumalu's rescue and its future as a treasured piece of landscape forever saved.
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