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Nonprofit Seeks Help to Protect Kīholo Bay Through Sanitation Efforts

June 18, 2020, 7:39 AM HST
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A local nonprofit has taken up sanitation efforts at Kīholo Bay State Park in North Kona.

Hui Aloha Kīholo is requesting help from the public to fund portable toilets, trash maintenance and sanitation at the North Kona park, as Hawai`i State Parks revenue has decreased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Division of State Parks locked gates and portable toilets at Kīholo on March 13. Park-goers can now access the park on foot, but State Parks cannot provide funding for adequate sanitation, a Hui Aloha Kīholo press release said. Weekly service of eight portable toilets and a dumpster for trash maintenance had previously been paid for by State Parks with funds generated by entry fees to other State Parks.

Kīholo State Park Reserve is jointly managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks and Hui Aloha Kīholo as part of a curatorship agreement, the organization said.

Under this agreement, Hui acts as a steward of Kīholo by partnering with stakeholders to provide on-the-ground presence, maintenance, camping management, community engagement and education, as well as natural and cultural resources protection. Hui Aloha Kīholo said it receives no funding from the State of Hawaiʻi for services provided at Kīholo. Instead, all of Hui Aloha Kīholo’s funding comes from private donations, fundraising activities, and grants.

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“With nowhere for visitors to use the restroom, we see excrement and toilet paper behind trees and in the pahoehoe lava flow,” said Executive Director Nahaku Kalei. “Without a waste management system in place, one of the last untouched natural gems of the Kona coast is at dire risk.”

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“With State Parks not expecting to have the funds to pay for waste management at Kīholo until sometime in 2021, we think it is necessary to take over both of the waste management contracts and commit to one year of service,” she continued.

The nonprofit has estimated waste management and sanitation costs for one year at Kīholo total $30,000, including:

  • Nine portable toilets with weekly maintenance – $15,000
  • Trash management (a large dumpster and multiple trash cans throughout reserve) – $7,000
  • Increased sanitation (regular sanitation of lua door handles by Hui staff) – $5,000
  • Sanitation supplies (hand sanitizer in the luas and supplies for Hui staff) – $2,500

Hui Aloha Kīholo is asking for the public’s help to protect Kīholo by providing luas and sanitation. So far, they have received a pledge of $15,000 to match all donations made by the end of June for the “For the Love of Luas” fundraiser. Donations to Hui Aloha Kīholo can be made at www.huialohakiholo.org and are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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