The Maui News - Maui County has purchased 64 acres of undeveloped property fronting Kaehu Bay, preserving the wetland and fishponds, in a $996,000 deal arranged with help from the Trust for Public Land, the Maui County Council and other groups, according to an announcement Tuesday.
Mayor Alan Arakawa said, "It is important that the coastal wetlands at Kaehu Bay will now remain a priceless cultural and natural resource on Maui for generations to come."
The property includes more than 4,500 feet of shoreline at Kaehu Bay, located between the mouths of the Waiehu and 'Iao streams. It is one of the last undeveloped shoreline parcels and includes a network of wetlands and fishponds.
The property features numerous Hawaiian cultural sites, and could be a potential future habitat for several Native Hawaiian birds. It is a popular coastal area for surfing, fishing and other recreational activities.
The Trust for Public Land, a private national nonprofit land conservation organization, assisted the county with the acquisition. The trust acquired the property through foreclosure proceedings.
The land has been appraised at $2 million, according to the announcement, and the county's real property tax records show an assessed value of nearly $1.4 million.
The Kaehu Bay purchase marks the Trust for Public Land's 26th completed project in Hawai'i, where it has conserved more than 40,300 acres.