DLNR News Release-Donation of Irreplaceable Habitat Protects Ka’ena Coastline, Feb. 26, 2019

Posted on Feb 26, 2019 in Latest Department News

(Honolulu) – An irreplaceable parcel of coastal land on O‘ahu’s northwestern shore has been donated to DLNR to protect it forever. The Tom family owned the roughly ½ acre parcel for decades, and they partnered with the North Shore Community Land Trust to transfer it to the State. DLNR plans to designate this iconic coastal area as an extension of the Kaʻena Point Natural Area Reserve (NAR).

“We are very grateful to the Tom family and the North Shore Community Land Trust for dedicating this land to preservation, allowing the Department to protect this sheltered beach cove, which provides refuge for Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

This proposed extension to the Kaʻena Point Natural Area Reserve would be accessible by foot or mountain bike and could be visited for recreational uses, hiking, education, and observation of wildlife. The donated cove has highly significant cultural and historical features. It has been a traditional spot for shore fishing, spearfishing, and gathering marine resources. “This parcel is a beautiful part of the Kaʻena Point landscape – one of the few remaining wilderness areas on Oʻahu that is isolated and intact, providing a natural escape from busy urban life,” said Adam Borrello, Executive Director of the North Shore Community Land Trust.

The addition will expand the area DLNR manages at Kaʻena, which is again becoming a thriving native ecosystem. Just a few decades ago, the NAR was overrun with predators and invasive plants, with no nesting seabirds. Off-road vehicles on the sand dunes were crushing native plants and potential burial sites and created significant erosion. DLNR restricted vehicle access in the 1990s and has worked since then to remove invasive weeds and predators, and to plant native species.

Ka‘ena Point is now home to the largest colony of Laysan Albatross in the main Hawaiian Islands, as well as many other native plants and animals. This addition will result in continued benefits for both native species and our communities.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video-Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve:



Photographs-Beach cove and Tom Family:


Photographs-Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve:



Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Phone: 587-0396