DLNR has no immediate plans to sweep the people camping on the Department of Aquatic Resources property in Waianae.
However, the land was transferred to DLNR to protect that 'opae'ula in the anchialine ponds. These opae'ula are a rare and unique resource that deserve protection and they cannot move.
The Department's long-term vision is to create a Marine Science Learning Center to include the unique ecosystem that exists on this property as well as nearshore marine ecosystems and the unique Waianae karst geology.
This property has the potential to become a natural functioning teaching ecosystem that will provide educational and learning benefits for the Waianae community and students statewide. It has the potential to be a resource for everyone in the state while increasing our STEM resources on the Waianae coast.
DLNR also knows that the City will be opening new modular housing on Farrington Highway across the street from the DAR property. This is an opportunity for people in the encampment to move out of being homeless and into more permanent and stable housing.
We believe that everyone in the encampment who can, should take advantage of this opportunity. DLNR is committed to working with the Governor's Office on Homelessness to make this happen.
However, people in the encampment are also responsible for taking the steps necessary to improve their lives. Moving into more permanent housing is a first step.
The Department notes that we have been in communication with the Waianae encampment leadership over the past two years and we have been consistent in our message that they would need to move off this property.
In order to assist we have looked for alternative parcels of land, but found nothing suitable, and the governor's office on Homelessness has regularly visited the encampment and asked people if they would like to move into either a shelter, transitional housing or permanent housing, if available.
Twinkle has helped us in these endeavors and we appreciate her willingness to partner with us.