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Preserving Our Natural Heritage for Future Generations

Our administration is deeply committed to protecting the environment and preserving the natural beauty of Hawai'i County. Our efforts focus on land conservation, sustainable practices, and innovative solutions to ensure that our island remains a paradise for future generations. Here’s how we’ve been working to protect our environment:

Investing in Land Conservation

Our administration has made unprecedented strides in land conservation, acquiring more land for Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation than any previous administration. We have preserved over 4,100 acres of land, safeguarding these areas for future generations. Plans are in place to acquire an additional 46.27 acres in Hōnaunau and 27.38 acres adjacent to the ocean in Waikōloa. These acquisitions ensure that our natural landscapes remain protected and accessible for all.

Sustainable Transportation

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and promoting sustainable transportation. Through grants and federal funding, we anticipate adding four new electric buses and one new hydrogen bus to the Hele-On service in the next fiscal year. These additions will help decrease emissions and contribute to cleaner air quality. Moreover, the Hele-On service will remain free for riders through 2025, encouraging more residents to choose sustainable public transportation options.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

In collaboration with Zero Waste Hawai‘i Island, Perpetual, and the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, we have implemented a reusable food ware system in Hilo. Supported by various grants, including a $1.5 million grant from the EPA, this initiative aims to reduce single-use plastics and promote sustainable practices in our community. Additionally, we have expanded the Derelict and Abandoned Vehicles Program and received a $1.5 million grant for recycling infrastructure, enhancing our waste management capabilities.

Climate Action and Sustainability

To ensure the continuity of sustainability-focused initiatives beyond the current administration, we have formed the new Office of Climate, Sustainability, Equity, and Resilience, led by Director Bethany Morrison. This office is dedicated to implementing and overseeing long-term environmental strategies. Key initiatives include:

  • Enforcing a law to reduce the use of sunscreens with harmful chemicals, protecting our coral reefs and marine life.

  • Publishing the Hawaiʻi County Climate Action Plan, outlining our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable energy.

  • Implementing solar-powered systems for water facilities, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting energy independence.

  • health crises

Community Partnerships

Our partnership with the Kohala Center at Kahaluʻu Bay exemplifies our commitment to preserving our marine environments. By working together, we aim to protect and restore this vital ecosystem, ensuring its health and resilience for years to come.

Looking Ahead

As we look to the future, my administration remains steadfast in our commitment to environmental stewardship. These efforts are crucial for preserving our natural heritage, promoting sustainability, and ensuring the well-being of our island and its residents.



Thank you for helping us make a difference!

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