Native Hawaiian group sues over proposed West Oahu ‘surf village’ with wave pool
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group of Native Hawaiian and environmental activists have sued the state and the developers of the Honokea Surf Village in Kalaeloa, which includes a large wave pool
They say the project will contaminate the groundwater and desecrate Hawaiian burials.
The suit filed in the state Circuit Court calls for a more strict environmental impact study of the $106 million project, located on 19 acres of vacant land next to the Kalaeloa Airport.
Because the developers plan to use injection wells to empty the 7 million-gallon wave pool every other year, the protestors worry that the chemicals in the pool will seep into the groundwater and nearby shorelines.
“Their plan to take out the water and to inject their used water back into the karst – it’s going to damage the nearshore limu and fisheries and all of the traditions that depend on them,” said Dayne Kahau of Na Kiai o Wai Ha, which filed the suit.
The project’s co-founder, famed waterman Brian Keaulana, said he was disappointed by the protestors’ “misguided accusations.”
‘We are aware of our island’s water concerns and will be integrating conservation into our operations. The project site in Kalaeloa has been in disrepair for decades,” said Keaulana.
“We’ve met with a number of Hawaiian cultural advisors and conducted extensive archaeological and environmental studies to ensure that we protect and malama the site.”
The U.S. Navy previously used the land to test jet engines, but it has been vacant since 1999 after the Navy cleaned up the soil for asbestos-containing material, according to a report by the developer’s consultan
The developer’s consultant also said the project would create more than 150 permanent jobs and attract more than 330,000 visitors annually.
The planned surf village will compete with the newly opened Wai Kai surf park in Ewa Beach, less than a mile away.
“This is the no. 1 surf site in the world. Why do we need a wave pool? Why do we need two? We are in Hawaii; go catch a surf, go White Plains,” said Keline Kahau, who opposes the project.
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