Restoration Ecology in Hawaii

Hey look an MP! Hanalei Plantation Resort
by -- March 27th, 2013

Every fact is related on one side to sensation, and, on the other, to morals.  The game of thought is, on the appearance of one of these two sides, to find the other:  given the upper, to find the under side.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In life you’re often presented with two sides of a story.  More often than not you end up choosing a side based on the facts presented.  Every now and then you may find yourself in a position to possibly make a difference for one side or the other.

The Hanalei Plantation Resort project is a classic case between a developer and the community. The developers are seeking to create a village like hotel and residential community that will minimize impacts, while creating a sustainable wetland ecosystem. The project will include the restoration of a fish pond, wetland revitalization, a hotel and residential development, which would be located on the Hanalei Ridge.  The main issues deal with a residential development planned for the Hanalei Ridge which overlooks Hanalei Bay and borders the Hanalei River.  During the trip we met with representatives of the developer and those in opposition of the project.

I come into this situation with an interesting perspective.  I have been involved in representing both sides of this type of situation.  I have close ties professionally to the development community and look at this project with a different eye than most.  Both parties involved ultimately are striving for the same goal, preserving the culture, history and natural environment of Hanalei.  Immediately I wanted to dive more deeply into the project and research more about the overall design process, impacts, and constraints.

Thus, an MP topic was developed.  My ultimate goal is to look at the project as a whole and determine strengths and weaknesses of the overall design, identify the impacts negatively associated with the project, and in the end make a judgment whether an alternative design solution should be offered.

This image is a conceptual analysis of what may be impacted if the Hanalei Ridge is developed. The red and blue represent the areas that would be affected by the development as it is currently designed. Yellow areas represent undisturbed areas. This analysis is purely conceptual and not intended to represent final engineering.

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