Ka Iwi: Efforts to preserve a pristine Oahu coastline

Elizabeth Reilly
Elizabeth Reilly

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

EAST OAHU (KHNL) - Just outside of a modern residential community in East Oahu, you'll find a rural piece of coastline that is untouched by development. The Ka Iwi Coastline largely looks like is has over the past century, and now there are efforts to keep it that way for future.

Its beauty draws many to East Oahu. The unspoiled landscape as far as the eye can see.

"To me that's the whole heart of visiting the island, the weather, the hiking and seeing the views," said Desiree D' Ambrosi, from Arizona.

The scenic sights are shared by visitors and locals alike. All wanting the Ka Iwi Coastline to remain untouched by development.

"Its such a beautiful site, I don't want to see any homes or anything like that, I just like it the way it is, just natural," said Honolulu resident, Lorraine, who was out on a hike.

Governor Linda Lingle also wants to keep it like it is. And has proposed changing the land from urban classification to conservation. That would keep out development but allow thousands in, to enjoy its rugged beauty.

The proposal comes at some cost. The state paid millions for the land in the 1990s, money that could be used now during this difficult economic time. But those who fought to keep the Ka Iwi Coastline clear, feel this land is priceless.

"It is truly one of the state's scenic resources. No other place except Kaena point is kept in its natural state," said Elizabeth Reilly, with the Liveable Hawaii Kai Hui.

While the change in classification would keep the land makai of Kamehameha Highway free of development, other nearby areas could still face future changes.

And that still concerns many who live nearby or visit the Ka Iwi Coastline.

Last year developers wanted to put vacation cabins in, and turn the tranquil area into a tourist destination.

But now there is hope future generations will enjoy all of the unspoiled beauty of Oahu's natural side.

The state's director from the Office of Planning will be at Tuesday ( Jan. 27th ) night's neighborhood board meeting in Hawaii Kai to talk more about the governor's plan with the community.