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Hawai‘i Island To Receive More Than $869,000 For Land Management And Business Development

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Kohala Center in Waimea, Hawai‘i will receive a total of $869,931 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve land management and strengthen local businesses.

“For nearly two decades, the Kohala Center has built coalitions and harnessed people and resources to restore the watersheds of Kohala, which play an important role in the entire reef ecosystem,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will make sure they can continue to do the work necessary to restore and protect the Kawaihae Watershed.”

The Kohala Center is receiving $853,114 from NOAA to restore the Kawaihae watershed, one of the most degraded watersheds in the region. The project will improve the health and function of the nearshore coral reef ecosystem by addressing erosion caused by animals, deforestation, invasive plants, and wildfire. The funding will allow the center to erect 12 miles of fencing, remove over 1,000 feral goats, plant 2,000 native trees and shrubs, and install 20 sediment capture dams to restore 8,500 acres. 

The Kohala Center is receiving another grant for $16,817 from the USDA to help local business through the center’s rural and cooperative business development services program.

Founded in 2000, the Kohala Center is a community-based center for research, conservation, and education that focuses on energy self-reliance, food self-reliance, and ecosystem health in Hawai‘i's rural communities.