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Letter for Monday, October 10, 2022

Resort at Coco Palms may violate federal law

Endangered Koloa ducks and moorhens have taken over the Coco Palms property, as it is slowly returning back to a functioning wetland.

The birds have “active nests” in the area, and I can prove this with video that has time, date and GPS, and I would be happy to testify to this in court.

It would be a violation of the U.S. Endangered Species Act Section 9 Harm and Harass clause for anyone to build on this property without conducting a lengthy and expensive Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

According to the Supreme Court, it would also be a violation of the ESA for a county government to issue a permit to build in the habitat of endangered species without the proper federal permits. I have that court case available.

I would be more than happy to come into the county office and have a talk with the county attorney about the ESA and how it relates to the Coco Palms wetlands.

I have a document from the U.S. Attorney, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that explains the exact violations of the ESA that would occur if any “action” takes place at the Coco Palms that has the “likelihood of affecting the feeding, breeding, nesting, behavior or migration” of any endangered species.

If permits were issued to rebuild the Coco Palms, then a citizens complaint lawsuit would be filed in federal court to block any activity on the property under the ESA until the proper HCP has been conducted.

It is obvious that the property will be underwater within a relatively short period of time due to sea-level rise. Please view the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer.

Why would anyone want to spend millions of dollars to build a hotel that will have to be removed when it falls into the sea? That would create a huge financial responsibility for the state of Hawai‘i like what is currently happening at Sunset Beach O‘ahu right now!


Terry Lilley, Marine biologist, endangered species expert, Hanalei
Source: The Garden Island

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