EPA awards over $59,000 to Malama Maunalua to support revitalization of urban waters in Hawaii

Maunalua Bay

EPA awards over $59,000 to Malama Maunalua to support revitalization of urban waters in Hawaii
Grants part of $2.7 million awarded through agency’s national Urban Waters program

HONOLULU C The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of over $59,000 in funds to the group Malama Maunalua on Oahu to help restore urban waters, support community revitalization and protect community health.

“Urban waters especially have been degraded by habitat lost, stormwater runoff and trash,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Protecting Maunalua Bay’s watershed allows city residents to enjoy the environmental and recreational benefits from their local waters and surrounding lands.”

The $2.7 million in funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program with grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico. The projects will promote the restoration of urban waters through community engagement and outreach, water quality monitoring and studies, and environmental education and training.

The health and ecology of Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai has been severely impacted by the effects of urban development and population growth during the last 50 years. The goal of the Malama Maunalua project is to reduce polluted runoff to Maunalua Bay from more than 20,000 households and 6 major commercial centers in the region by creating two highly visible sites to demonstrate stormwater management practices which are intended to increase awareness and influence the behavior of residents, visitors and bay users about the threats to the bay and the need for restoration. The demonstration sites Malama Maunalua will be working on are Koko Marina Shopping Center, and Koko Head District Park.

Working with Koko Marina Center will be an ideal partnership. They are very interested in incorporating as many Non point pollution , Best Management Practices (BMP) throughout the shopping center. Many of the tenants, including Kona Brewing Co. have agreed to partner with Malama Maunalua to determine how to reduce polluted run off water from entering the marina, and ultimately into Maunalua Bay. The Koko Head District Park demonstration site also reflects our unique and powerful partnerships. Collaboration with various city agencies including the departments of Parks and Recreation, Facility Maintenance, and Environmental will be needed to complete this site. It’s a great opportunity for this neighborhood and the whole community.

Urban waters can be canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas. Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, EPA will help communities become active participants
restoring urban waters while improving and protecting their neighborhoods.

EPA’s Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 12 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways.
The partnership closely aligns with and advances the work of the White House’s place\based efforts, including the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, to revitalize communities, create jobs and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the nation. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership also advances the work of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

To get more information about Malama Maunalua, visit http://www.malamamaunalua.org/

To view a list of the grant recipients, visit http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding
Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program: http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html
Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: http://urbanwaters.gov/

Contact: Rae DeCoito, 808-395-5050, rae@malamamaunalua.org