Turtle Bay Expansion Threatens Endangered Animals, Plants

By Huntemer, Angela | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, January 16, 2013 | Go to article overview

Turtle Bay Expansion Threatens Endangered Animals, Plants


Huntemer, Angela, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


After careful review and consultation with biologists, I strongly contend that Turtle Bay Resort's surveys of flora and fauna, in its draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS), are incomplete and inaccurate.

They do not address:

-- The issues of animals and plants listed under the Endangered Species Act; Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, Hawaiian stilts, moorhens, coots, ducks, ohai (sesbania-tomentosa) and others.

-- The presence of migratory birds such as bristle thighed curlews, golden plovers, wandering tattlers, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, dowitchers, yellowlegs and others protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

-- The presence, and sensitivity to light, of shearwaters and petrels.

The surveys also:

-- Deny that the property contains or is adjacent to critical habitat.

-- Did not attempt inventories of invertebrates or freshwater aquatic resources.

-- Assume that Hawaiian owls and bats are not present. Best practices are to assume they are present, since their presence is documented on adjacent properties (at the First Wind project and James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge).

-- Did not investigate "the fragile ecosystem" of Punahoolapa Marsh and then declared that no endangered plants were found.

-- Incorrectly maintain that there are no endangered plants on the property.

The DSEIS lacks discussion of preservation and restoration of dune habitat, overgrown with invasive species through neglect, a predator control program and, as suggested more than 20 years ago by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, restoration of the marsh. The existing resort has no functional education programs for staff to prevent the destruction of protected birdlife, or to coordinate wildlife emergencies with state and federal authorities. …

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