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Fundraiser ensures preservation of Ka Iwi Coastline

A fundraiser has pushed private donations over a $500,000 goal to help complete a 40-year effort to protect the scenic Ka Iwi Coastline from development by financing the purchase of the last pieces of privately held land.

On Thursday night the fundraiser held in Waimanalo raised $21,600, bringing the private donation total to $500,000, which resulted in a total of $4 million to buy the two parcels.

“In less than 10 weeks we raised $500,000,” said Phil Estermann, who has fought for 30 years against development of the area along the 7-mile stretch of highway along the coastline since he joined the fight in 1985 in the Save Sandy Beach effort.

“For more than 40 years, the community’s taken one stand after another. Now it looks like we can put the final piece in place.”

Previous attempts by landowners to develop the area, including building cabins, have been thwarted, and the city and state have previously acquired most of the land along the coast.

However, the last two privately held pieces of property along the Ka Iwi Coast became available when the property’s mainland landowners went into bankruptcy. So the Trust for Public Land got a contract with the court in June to buy two parcels totaling 182 acres of mauka land between the Hawaii Kai Golf Course and Makapuu above Alan Davis Beach for $4 million.

The acquisition by the Trust and the Ka Iwi Coalition ensures the seven miles of coastline from Portlock to Waimanalo, including the Ka Iwi Scenic Shoreline, will remain protected for recreational and scenic purposes, as well as protection for Hawaiian cultural sites and habitat for native birds.

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