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
Situated on the southeast shore of Kauai, Mahaulepu is known for its dramatic coastline and pristine areas. As any online image search will show you, Mahaulepu is characterized by striking scenes of natural beauty and it is home to many threatened and endangered species. Experiencing Mahaulepu is a special treat for visitors and an ongoing delight for residents. As many know, it took 5 plus years and 2 expensive lawsuits to defeat internet billionaires Pierre Omidyar of eBay and former AOL executive Steve Case and their plan for an industrial dairy of 2000 plus cows that threatened to ruin the fragile ecosystem of Mahaulepu and the South Shore of Kauai. During our fight, we were asked to aid a community on the Big Island, O’okala, already suffering from illness, foul odor and flies associated with a 3000 plus cow dairy, Big Island Dairy. Our efforts gathered the evidence and an attorney to take on the Whiteside brothers forcing Big Island Dairy to close in April 2019 for its rampant uncontrollable Clean Water Act violations. Manure no longer flows through their community streams and they tell us the air is once again fragrant and their quality of life has been restored.
We continue to work on environmental threats to the Island of Kauai and were successful in stopping a large condominium development of 769 units on the hillside behind Kapaa Middle School next to the bypass. This development, if built, would have greatly impaired in already overburdened traffic flow, “the Kapaa crawl”. It would have also drastically overburdened our Wailua wastewater treatment plant, our ‘over capacity’ landfill and our drinking water which, as yet is not accessible at the proposed site.
We have been successful filing complaints and attending hearings before the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to secure mauka to makai (mountain to the ocean) stream flow restoration for Wai`ale`ale, Waikoko and Lawai streams, all critically important streams that were dammed and diverted for more than 100 years which created dry stream beds that now, once again, have good flow and returning biota.
Currently, we are working hard to counter the over development of the South Shore of Kauai. Billionaire Gary Pinkston and Meridian Pacific is attempting to add 280 units on Kiahuna Plantation Drive which will significantly impact our infrastructure and limited road access to the quite old but quaint Koloa Village and Poipu area. Of great concern is their use of explosives and the subsequent development of holes on Hapa Trail, a nearby archaeologic site dating back to the 1300’s. Other ground faults are appearing in nearby parks which may due to the extensive cave network underlying the South Shore of Kauai. (Tongvig and Mylroie, in litt. 1998; Belson 1999)