Humpback whales are often seen breaching off the shores of Maha’ulepu during the winter months.

Friends of Maha’ulepu is comprised of a group of concerned citizens (local and beyond) who are contributing their time and talents to protect the natural beauty of this pristine coastal valley.

In 2001, the County Council passed a unanimous Resolution to preserve and protect Maha’ulepu. The lead signatory was Ron Kouchi, currently serving as the Senator from Kauai who has been elected President of the Hawaii State Senate. In 2006, Senator Daniel K. Inouye asked the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a reconnaissance survey on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i, in order to provide a preliminary evaluation of the resources of Māhā‘ulepū and surrounding areas for potential inclusion in the national park system. NPS agreed to conduct the study in the next fiscal year, and began its work in February 2007. The final report, Māhā‘ulepū, island of Kaua’i – Reconnaissance Survey was published in 2008.

Our latest challenge has been responding to the proposed large industrial scale dairy, operated by Hawaii Dairy Farms (HDF), that wants to bring 2,000 dairy cows to a 582 acre parcel less than a mile from the coastline. The white sand beaches and coral reefs of Maha’ulepu are currently free of any development. The proposal to operate a large industrial dairy, where 2,000 cows will be grazed on just 24 acres per day (83 cows per acre), will result in at least 290,000 lbs. of manure and 16,000 gallons of urine being left daily on the clay soils found on the farm site.

Friends of Maha’ulepu has worked diligently with both government officials and the proposed industrial dairy (HDF), presenting specific facts that support the serious environmental disaster and dramatic quality of life changes likely if the proposed industrial dairy is allowed to operate in Maha’ulepu Valley with the large herd planned. In a 11/25/14 press release and newsletter, HDF confirmed that, if approved, their dairy herd will start at 699 and within months expand to their intended herd size of 2,000 dairy cows. Friends of Maha’ulepu is committed to taking all steps necessary to assure that HDF does not operate their proposed industrial dairy at Maha’ulepu. HDF should find a site that does not threaten rich native Hawaiian cultural practices and archeological sites; a fragile environmental ecosystem that is home to endangered and threatened plant and animal life, not to mention the clear threat to the Southshore community’s health and well being from the volume of toxic waste which will be deposited and pumped onto pastures less than 800 feet from the County Wells that provide the drinking water for all of Po’ipu and most of Koloa.

New Zealand Model

HDF’s proposal is based on a New Zealand model, which is not nearly as dense as the operation they plan for the Garden Island of Kaua’i. Unfortunately, the very dairy model they claim to emulate, has been found responsible for a nationwide pollution problem in New Zealand.