Help Save Makena!

UPDATE: Temporary Success!

Let's Keep the Momentum Going!

Mahalo to everyone who asked the Planning Commission to reject the Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for 47 acre Makena Resort project. In all, there were:

  • 45+ people who sent in letters to the Planning Commission asking them to reject the FEA,
  • 30+ people who came out on January 10th to testify against the FEA,
  • 925+ people who signed the petition so far.

The Planning Commission has voted to defer their vote on whether to accept or reject this FEA, so it's still possible they may accept it in the future. We'll keep you posted as new developments occur! The Planning Commission will likely be re-hearing this issue within the next 3-6 months.

If you haven't already signed the petition to the Planning Commission asking for a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement study to be done, click here to add your name.



Sign the Petition & Testify at January 10th Planning Commission Meeting

On Tuesday, January 10th, the Maui Planning Commission will decide whether to approve the Makena Development Resort's Final Environmental Assessment (FEA), which claims the 47 acre development will have NO significant impact on the area, despite the fact that the site is full of environmental and cultural treasures. In addition, the 47 acre development is very clearly just one small part of a much larger 1,800 development project that is being planned for Makena by the land owners.

We want the Planning Commission to REJECT this Final Environmental Assessment for the 47 acre project and instead require a much more thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be done for the entire 1,800 acres. An EIS will examine 1) exactly how this project will negatively impact the surrounding environment, and 2) how to mitigate these impacts before any final development plans are put in place and construction starts.


1) Click here to sign the petition to the Planning Commission.

2) Email the Planning Commission by Monday the 9th asking them to reject the Final Environmental Assessment and instead require an Environmental Impact Statement. Make sure to say you are writing about item C-1 on the Maui Planning Commission January 10, 2017 agenda. Send your email to

3) Testify in person at the Planning Commission meeting - Tuesday the 10th at 9 am in the Planning Department Conference Room, First Floor - 250 South High Street, Wailuku. They need to hear the voices of Makena residents and how building at Makena Landing will negatively affect families, cultural rights and access, and our environment. Please be RESPECTFUL of the Planning Commissioners. They are volunteers who are giving their time for the community.


Report on Land Board’s East Maui Permits Decision

By Lucienne de Naie, Maui Group Conservation Committee Chair

December 15, 2016

The tug of war over East Maui stream waters sends a clear message: the state and counties need a post-plantation, 21st century water policy. This is the only way to provide what everyone wants: a reliable water supply, fairly distributed, and managed as a real Public Trust resource.

On December 9th, East Maui taro farmers, residents, and statewide supporters rallied inside and outside a Board of Land and Natural Resource (BLNR) hearing in Honolulu, to deliver just that message. The State’s “business as usual” water policies were not working to provide reliable public water supplies and create a new agricultural future for all of Maui.

Over 40 people testified, asking the BLNR to not automatically rubber stamp the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) request to “holdover” or renew annual Revocable Permits that have allowed over 60 billion gallons a year of stream water to be diverted from state lands for many decades. Testifiers wanted the Board to demand clear proof of how much stream water the former plantation would actually need in 2017, now that it had ceased sugar operations.

The O'ahu location meant only a handful of East Maui residents were able to attend in person, but their story was compelling: generations struggling to have enough water to practice traditional farming and gathering and pass on their culture. Many East Maui testifiers simply asked that the water be fairly shared, while supporting sufficient water for Upcountry residents, farmers and ranchers relying on the East Maui streams. Sierra Club Maui has also long supported the water needs of Upcountry Maui residents, farmers and ranchers. Maui Group advocated for expanded Upcountry reservoir capacity to increase water security, and for Maui County to repair the aged Waikamoi flume system that lost 40% of the stream water it transported to upcountry system users (accomplished in 2015.)

Maui Group also strongly supports continued agricultural use of the former HC&S sugar lands and employment opportunities for former HC&S workers. Like the other testifiers, Sierra Club wanted the Board to make sure that there was actual farming planned for 2017, that sustainable farming practices would be used to promote water efficiency and the needs of traditional farmers and gatherers would be fully met as we move forward into Maui’s new agricultural future. Maui Group has testified for years that improved efficiency in the HC&S and Upcountry water systems would allow for more water to be shared by plantation lands, rural residents, and farming communities across the island.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar has said that seventeen percent (5,100 acres) of its 30,000 acres of land currently served by East Maui stream water will convert to cattle grazing and a County ag park in 2017. Future plans, based upon a map submitted to the State Water Commission in October of this year, call for possible bio-energy crops, a dairy, seed crops and large leased areas. The problem is, there currently is no timeline for those future uses and no hard data on how much water will be needed when. This made the BLNR decision tough.

After over 6 hours of public testimony, an Executive Session, and extensive board member discussions, the BLNR approved HC&S’s revocable permits, with conditions. Conditions included: capping extraction from East Maui streams at 80 million gallons per day (mgd) [HC&S’s goal was 116 mgd], supporting a July 2016 Water Commission order mandating fully restored stream flow in 14 East Maui taro growing streams, adding Honomanu Stream to the list of streams to be restored, and requiring removal of all unused diversion structures impeding the health of the native stream species.

The BLNR’s ruling was a compromise. It provides the community with new tools to protect some streams and gives HC&S a chance to prove its new farming plans are real. The imposition of a cap shows that community concerns were heard.

The Sierra Club of Hawai'i applauds Land Board members Sam Ohu Gon III and Keone Downing who recognized that there is inadequate information on streamflow and water use to make an informed decision, and therefore, voted against the permit renewal.

We will continue to stand with the East Maui community and the people of Maui to support water policies that are fair for all and follow our laws.

Nov/Dec 2016: SC Maui in the News

Sierra Club Maui Press Clippings

Drinking Water Well Protection on Maui

  • Sierra Club Maui Executive Committee member Lucienne de Naie was invited on Hawai'i Public Radio's The Conversation to discuss drinking water well protection on Maui. Listen to the program here.

East Maui Streams Permits at the Board of Land & Natural Resources

DAPL Solidarity Protest

Kihei Short Study



Press Release: Maui Stands With Standing Rock!

November 15, 2016

Sierra Club Maui Rallies Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Calls on First Hawaiian Bank’s Owner to Pull its Financial Support from the Environmentally Devastating Project

On November 15th, over 100 Maui residents joined together to demand an end to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protest rally, which is organized by the Sierra Club Maui Group and its allies, was part of an international day of action that targeted decision makers and stakeholders who have the power to stop the construction.  The Maui rally was held in front of the First Hawaiian Bank’s Kahului Branch on Ka’ahumanu Avenue to highlight First Hawaiian Bank’s involvement in the building of the pipeline. First Hawaiian Bank is 80% owned by the French multinational bank BNP Paribas (1), which has loaned over $400 million to the companies building the pipeline (2).

“The only reason that projects like the Dakota Access pipeline are able to be built is because banks provide the funding. We shouldn’t be building new infrastructure that is both environmentally and culturally devastating, and banks have the power to put the brakes on these bad projects,” said Adriane Raff Corwin, Sierra Club Maui Group Coordinator. “If banks invest in projects that increase our reliance on fossil fuels, have the potential to contaminate precious water resources, and utterly disregard native peoples’ culture and history, then they are going to hear from us.”

Sierra Club of Hawai’i and Sierra Club Maui Group are asking First Hawaiian Bank customers to close their accounts with the bank. “Every person who closes their First Hawaiian Bank account is sending the message to its majority shareholder BNP Paribas that we won’t let you use our money to invest in projects that further global warming. If we stick together, we can force big banks to put people and the environment over profit,” said Marti Townsend, Director of the Sierra Club of Hawai’i. In a show of force throughout Hawai’i, there will be an identical protest rally outside the downtown Honolulu branch of First Hawaiian Bank on O’ahu at the same date and time.



In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access proposed a 1,168-mile pipeline, which is just seven miles shorter than the now-rejected Keystone XL pipeline. In August 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the general permit that allowed construction to begin (using a little-known loophole called Nationwide Permit 12, which allows the process to be fast-tracked without adequate environmental review, tribal consultation, or public input). This pipeline, called "Dakota Access," would carry fracked crude oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, and cut through communities, farms, sensitive natural areas, wildlife habitat, tribal lands, and the ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (the Tribe is part of the Sioux nation).

Not only would this pipeline threaten sacred sites and culturally important landscapes, it would also cross under the Missouri River just upstream of the Tribe's drinking water supply, where a spill would constitute a serious threat to the Tribe's culture and way of life. The Standing Rock Sioux have been protesting the pipeline in peaceful prayer camps since April, and thousands of supporters have joined them since the pipeline was approved, including unprecedented support from more than 200 other indigenous nations. This fracked oil pipeline, which was approved without adequate environmental reviews or public and tribal consultation, is bad for communities, water, wildlife, and our climate.

On September 9, in a partial victory, the federal government halted construction of the pipeline in the area bordering or under Lake Oahe near the Tribe's lands until federal agencies can review whether the prior permitting decisions were appropriate. While construction is halted on a portion of the project, the Obama administration should finish the job and reject this dirty and dangerous pipeline once and for all.

We do not want, nor do we need, an expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. We have the technology and ability to continue and complete our transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy and leave dirty fuels like Bakken crude oil where they belong - in the ground.



  1. Ownership of First Hawaiian Bank -
  2. BNP Paribas’ investment in Dakota Access -'s-banking-dakota-access-pipeline ,


Thanks for a Great 40th Anniversary Party!

The Sierra Club Maui Group had a fantastic anniversary party on October 1st, with over 100 people in attendance! Everyone enjoyed delicious food donated by Mana Foods, Flatbread Company, Maui Coffee Roasters, and Down to Earth as musician Richard Dancil and DJ The DiF eXperience entertained.

40th anniversary cake

The community came out to ensure our 2016 Environmental Champions award winners Susan Bradford, the late Alex Bode, Healoha Carmichael, Karen Chun, Lance Collins, Oliver Dukelow, Lezley Jacintho, Kathy Kaohu, and Tiare Lawrence were thoroughly recognized and cherished for their work to protect Maui's environment and people.

Sierra Club Maui Group was surprised and honored when Maui County Councilperson Don Guzman presented Sierra Club Maui's executive committee with a framed copy of a resolution from the County Council, "extend[ing] its congratulations to Sierra Club Maui on the 40th anniversary of serving as a voice and advocate for Maui's cherished environment and precious resources." This recognition from the County Council served as icing on the cake at a celebration of 40 years of Sierra Club Maui Group's important achievements in environmental conservation and cultural preservation. Sierra Club Maui Group is gearing up to continue this important work for decades to come!

40th anniversary food Colin and Daniel at 40th anniversary 40th anniversary hanging outTalking to Attendees
Trinette Adriane Lucienne

Maui Group Victory! 160 Acres Protected from Development in Wailea

October 26, 2016

Settlement Leads to Protection of Culturally and Environmentally Sensitive Land at Honua'ula

(Joint Press Release of Sierra Club, Maui Unite and Honua'ula Partners, LLC)


After more than three years of extensive negotiations, environmental and cultural groups, Sierra Club and Maui Unite, have entered into a settlement agreement with developer Honua'ula Partners, LLC and the County of Maui.  The settlement calls for the protection of over 160 acres of land containing ancient Hawaiian villages, boundary markers and site complexes, as well as rare and endangered plants and animals.  The settlement also includes protection of portions of the historic Kanaio-Kalama Road, specific access rights for cultural practitioners and the public, a reduction in the size of the originally proposed eighteen-hole golf course, a deer fence to protect endangered plants, and a conservation easement over the protected lands to be held by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.  Another key feature of the agreement is a 116-foot wide buffer along the boundary with Maui Meadows, a one-acre public park located adjacent to the buffer, as well as height limits on certain structures in areas adjacent to the Maui Meadows buffer.  Other parts of the agreement call for preserved areas to be turned over to a nonprofit group in the future.

The settlement agreement between the parties stems from a claim filed in 2012 that challenged the environmental impact statement that had been prepared by the developer and accepted by the county in conjunction with a proposed 1,400 unit development in Wailea on a 670-acre property near the south end of Pi'ilani Highway.

The project, which was initially referred to as “Wailea 670,” was approved by the Maui County Council in 2008 for single family and multi-family units, a range of commercial and other mixed uses, and a golf course.  The County Council placed a number of conditions on the development, for the protection of culturally and environmentally sensitive areas – including a “native plant preservation area” of not less than 18 acres and not more than 130 acres.

Through their claim, Sierra Club and Maui Unite contended among other things that the developer’s environmental impact statement had failed to adequately address the extent of the cultural and archaeological sites and features located on the property.  During the protracted settlement negotiations, the developer agreed to conduct further archaeological work.  The archaeologists have confirmed that hundreds of significant archaeological sites or features are located on the property, including ceremonial sites, stepping stone trails, living quarters and farming terraces.  Most of these sites are now confirmed for perpetual protection.

The claimants also contended in their lawsuit that the EIS failed to address the impacts associated with the 250 affordable housing units that were required to be constructed off-site, at the proposed Kaonoulu Light Industrial Subdivision located on the mauka side of Pi'ilani Highway in North Kihei, which has been the subject of another land use claim.  As a result of the settlement, the claimants have agreed that the developer may seek to obtain approval from the County Council to amend the original Wailea 670 project district ordinance to permit the affordable housing to be located either at the Kaonoulu site or at the Honua'ula site, or a combination of both sites.

Certain parts of the settlement agreement are contingent upon the developer obtaining additional approvals from the Maui Planning Commission and on the developer actually proceeding forward with the project as originally approved.


Call to stop HB2501 – water theft bill


Healoha Carmichael, a Native Hawaiian gatherer, stands in Honomanu Stream in East Maui near her home. The stream is completely dry due to Alexander and Baldwin's water diversions. Carmichael and her 'ohana face significant hardship in gathering food to feed their 'ohana because of the diversions.

Tell Your Senator To Ask Senator Jill Tokuda Not To Hear HB 2501!



Thank you for supporting the restoration of East Maui streams. The fight to protect East Maui kalo farmers and families is just beginning.  In the coming weeks, we are going to need your help to defeat HB 2501 because we are up against a multi-billion dollar corporation.

HB 2501 would allow, Alexander and Baldwin, a private corporation to continue de-watering the streams of East Maui despite having no use for this public water.  HB 2501 is still working its way through Hawaii’s legislative process. We need your help to stop this bill.

On March 21, 2016, HB2501 was amended by the Senate Water, Land, and Agriculture Committee.  The amendments appear to acknowledge the harm and injustice of the current diversions because they seek to shorten the time Alexander & Baldwin is allowed to take all the water from East Maui and appropriate funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources so that it can properly administer the law.  While these amendments may make the bill less egregious, it is not enough to address the incredible harm long-suffered by residents and farmers who do not have access to sufficient water on a daily basis because A&B takes so much water from East Maui streams.


Before a corporation diverts water from a stream, it must prove its diversion will not cause harm to downstream users. A&B has never done this. A&B has used BLNR’s illegal “holdover” authorization to avoid ever having to prove that its diversions cause no harm. Manipulation of the process has allowed A&B to divert millions of gallons of water every day regardless of the consequences. This must stop.


  • HB2501 is tailor-made for A&B. It is the only entity with a “holdover” revocable permit and it is the only entity with a pending water lease application before the BLNR.
  • HB 2501 would reward a multi-billion dollar corporation for improperly taking water from the public, even if the courts conclude that the water diversions are illegal. The bill attempts to interfere with the judicial process and short change East Maui kalo farmers.
  • Giving A&B three more years to complete a process that started 15 years ago is UNFAIR – particularly after they have admitted that they do not need as much water as they have been taking. And they have not used the time they already had wisely. Where is the EIS? Where are the stream measurements?
  • Temporary bills do not address the issue.  They have a tendency to last a long time. Often the Legislature will repeal the provision to terminate a law at a later date.

There is no reason to continue this injustice any longer.
The next step for the bill is the Senate Ways and Means Committee. East Maui residents and their supporters from across the Hawaiian Islands are currently working to convince the Chair of WAM to not hear HB2501.

You can help by contacting your own senator right now and asking him or her to ask Sen. Jill Tokuda to NOT HEAR HB2501 (phone numbers at the bottom).


Baker, Rosalyn H.
Phone 808-586-6070
Fax 808-586-6071
District 6 South and West Maui

Chun Oakland, Suzanne
Phone 808-586-6130
Fax 808-586-6131
District 13 Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nu‘uanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus, Downtown

Dela Cruz, Donovan M.
Phone 808-586-6090
Fax 808-586-6091
District 22 Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, portion of Poamoho

English, J. Kalani
Phone 808-587-7225
Fax 808-587-7230
District 7 Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe

Espero, Will
Phone 808-586-6360
Fax 808-586-6361
District 19 ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages

Gabbard, Mike
Phone 808-586-6830
Fax 808-586-6679
District 20 Kapolei, Makakilo, and portions of ‘Ewa, Kalaeloa, and Waipahu

Galuteria, Brickwood
Phone 808-586-6740
Fax 808-586-6829
District 12 Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, McCully, Mo‘ili‘ili

Green, Josh
Phone 808-586-9385
Fax 808-586-9391
District 3 Kona, Ka‘u

Harimoto, Breene
Phone 808-586-6230
Fax 808-586-6231
District 16 Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, ‘Aiea, Royal Summit, ‘Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa, Pearl Harbor

Ihara, Les Jr.
Phone 808-586-6250
Fax 808-586-6251
District 10 Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, St. Louis Heights, Mo‘ili‘ili, Ala Wai

Inouye, Lorraine
Phone 808-586-7335
Fax 808-586-7339
District 4 Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona

Kahele, Kaiali'i
Phone 808-586-6760
Fax 808-586-6689
District 1 Hilo

Keith-Agaran, Gilbert S.C.
Phone 808-586-7344
Fax 808-586-7348
District 5 Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului

Kidani, Michelle N.
Phone 808-586-7100
Fax 808-586-7109
District 18 Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia

Kim, Donna Mercado
Phone 808-587-7200
Fax 808-587-7205
District 14 Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea

Kouchi, Ronald D.
Phone 808-586-6030
Fax 808-586-6031
District 8 Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau

Nishihara, Clarence K.
Phone 808-586-6970
Fax 808-586-6879
District 17 Waipahu, Crestview, Manana, Pearl City, Pacific Palisades

Riviere, Gil
Phone 808-586-7330
Fax 808-586-7334
District 23 Kane‘ohe , Ka‘a‘awa, Hau‘ula, La‘ie, Kahuku, Waialua, Hale‘iwa, Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks, Kunia

Ruderman, Russell E.
Phone 808-586-6890
Fax 808-586-6899
District 2 Puna, Ka‘u

Shimabukuro, Maile S.L.
Phone 808-586-7793
Fax 808-586-7797
District 21 Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nanakuli, Ma‘ili, Wai‘anae, Makaha, Makua

Slom, Sam
Phone 808-586-8420
Fax 808-586-8426
District 9 Hawai‘i Kai, Kuli‘ou‘ou, Niu, ‘Aina Haina, Wai‘alae-Kahala, Diamond Head

Taniguchi, Brian T.
Phone 808-586-6460
Fax 808-586-6461
District 11 Manoa, Makiki, Punchbowl, Papakolea

Thielen, Laura H.
Phone 808-587-8388
Fax 808-587-7240
District 25 Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawai‘i Kai, Portlock

Tokuda, Jill N.
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 207
Phone 808-587-7215
Fax 808-587-7220
District 24 Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu

Wakai, Glenn
Phone 808-586-8585
Fax 808-586-8588
District 15 Kalihi, Mapunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor

If you aren’t sure who your Senator is, visit the Hawai‘i Capitol website.