ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2019 – 51
URGING THE STATE OF HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO DISAPPROVE OF the proposed naval special WARFARE COMMAND Training in NEARSHORE WATERS OF THE PAEʻĀINA o hawaIʻI DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
WHEREAS, the United States Naval Special Warfare Command has proposed to engage in maritime and air-based training activities in the nearshore waters of the paeʻāina o Hawaiʻi, including harbors and bays, according to its draft Environmental Assessment published in the The Environmental Notice by the Office of Environmental Quality Control on December 8, 2018; and
WHEREAS, the mission of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is to “Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural, and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawaii nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors.”; and
WHEREAS, allowing this training to occur is contrary to the mission of DLNR to enhance protect conserve and manage, Hawai‘i’s unique and limited natural, cultural, and historic resources; and
WHEREAS, past military training in and near Maui County has left a legacy of environmental- and cultural-resource destruction and degradation, as seen on the Island of Kaho‘olawe, which is uninhabitable and littered with unexploded ordnance; and
WHEREAS, the proposed training would be conducted by the U.S. Navy and other components of the Armed Forces in ecologically sensitive regions, which include critical habitats for species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and State of Hawai‘i law endforced by DLNR, such as the Hawaiian monk seal and the Hawaiian false killer whale, Hawaiian green sea turtle, Hawaiian hawksbill turtle; and
WHEREAS, the proposed training would occur within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback National Marine Sanctuary, which is an important breeding, calving, and nursery area for humpback whales; and
WHEREAS, the proposed training would utilize active sonar, which is known to be dangerous to marine mammals; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Navy contends sonar levels will be no higher than 160 decibels and, therefore, safe, but academic studies provide many documented cases in 2001 and 2006 of marine mammal strandings at lower levels; and
WHEREAS, the draft Environmental Assessment fails to adequately recognize, consider, or protect traditional cultural practices and excludes hundreds of historic sites, including numerous fishponds, from the so-called Area of Potential Effect; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Navy has not provided sufficient information for the public or Native Hawaiian organizations to review, understand, and respond to the proposed training; and
WHEREAS, though the draft Environmental Assessment states that the proposed training “involves minimal use of machinery, equipment, or vehicles,” the history with military activities in the paeʻāina raises justifiable concern about environmental impacts; and
WHEREAS, the Environmental Assessment did not adequately address alternatives in their proposed actions; and
WHEREAS, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs has a track record of expressing concern about similar warfare trainings on land including those that occur at Pōhakuloa and Mākua.
WHEREAS, the on September 6, 2019, the Maui County Council unanimously adopted a similar resolution entitled “URGING THE HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES DISAPPROVE OF THE PROPOSED NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE COMMAND TRAINING IN NEARSHORE WATERS OF MAUI, MOLOKAI, AND LĀNA‘I DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT; and
WHEREAS, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs supports the conservation of natural resources, the protection of marine life, and the perpetuation of cultural, traditional, and subsistence activities practiced by residents, all of which would be jeopardized by the proposed training.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 60th Annual Convention in Lahaina, Maui, in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau, this 16th day of November 2019, urging the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources to disapprove of the proposed Naval Special Warfare Command Training in Nearshore Waters of paeʻāina of Hawaiʻi Draft Environmental Assessment; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the U.S. Senator Brian E. Schatz, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Mayor Michael Victorino of the County of Maui, Julie M. Zimmerman, Senior NEPA Planner, United States Special Warfare Command, the Chair and the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the President of Hawai‘i State Association of Counties, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau on the 16th day of November 2019, at the 60th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Lahaina, Maui.
Hailama V. K. K. Farden, President