Coastal developments along Hawai‘i’s shorelines warrant protective measures to limit and prevent degradation to resident aquatic biota and to maintain the pristine water quality along the nearshore waters. The County of Hawai‘i, recognizing the potential for long-term negative impacts to the nearshore marine environment resulting from coastal development, has required developers to prepare and initiate monitoring and mitigation programs aimed at adverting these potentially chronic impacts.
Kūki‘o, situated along the North Kona Coast of Hawai‘i, was initially planned and approved in 1988 as Regent Kona Coast Resort whose master plan was approved with 1,620 residential and 1,250 hotel room units for a total of 2,870 units and 36 hole of golf. Under the present ownership by WB Kūki‘o Resorts, LLC, the project was master planned and developed, now named “Kūki‘o”, approximately 250 units and an 18-hole championship golf course with a 10-hole executive course.
In consultation with Dr. Richard Brock, Environmental Assessment Company, PBR HAWAII prepared the Kūki‘o Anchialine Pond Management Plan. This plan describes specific treatments for each pond in the Kūki‘o anchialine system. The coastal resources at Kūki‘o include a unique anchialine pond ecosystem along the beach fronted by pristine marine waters. In formulating the Plan, a cultural advisory group (compromised of lineal descendants of these lands) was consulted to formulate objectives of the management and mitigation plans that balanced the archaeological site preservation and cultural use considerations. WB Kūki‘o Resorts, LLC, in its stewardship of these resources, has integrated scientific monitoring of the ponds and the nearshore waters, and completed a cultural history study of historic uses within these lands.
The Anchialine Pond Management Plan recommends the modification of the anchialine ponds to achieve the Plan’s objectives. The modifications are designed to recover the aquatic resources – both cultural and natural – and preserve this unique resource for perpetuity in ways that would result in the least impact to the environment.
WB Kūki‘o Resorts, LLC, developer of Kūki‘o, recognizes the unique site resource and is committed to improving and managing this resource in a manner sensitive to the cultural, biological, and archaeological qualities that will enhance and maintain this resource as a centerpiece of the community.