Protecting & Preserving Our Natural Resources
Committed to preserving our natural resources and open spaces for future generations, Jill has emphasized the protection of such irreplaceable resources as Kawainui Marsh, and has strongly opposed projects like the Hawaiian Memorial Park expansion, which threatened to urbanize important conservation lands in Kaneohe.
Upon entering office in 2006, Jill placed resolving the long-standing dispute between the City & County and the State over ownership of Kawainui Marsh among her top priorities. By working closely with all parties involved and engaging them in meaningful negotiations, she helped bring about a resolution to this 17-year dispute in April 2007.
As a result of this settlement, over $4.1 million in federal funds will be used to restore habitats in the marsh. It also opens the door for millions more in future federal funding to preserve Kawainui Marsh, which has the distinction of being a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Jill has also led efforts to bring in over $2.4 million in state funds to support ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation efforts at Kawainui.
Recognizing that our conservation lands and open spaces are finite resources, Senator Tokuda and Representative Ken Ito have stood by community opposition to the expansion of Hawaiian Memorial Park (HMP). After 3 years of providing testimony, circulating petitions, and working with members of Hui O Pikoiloa, advocates achieved victory with the Land Use Commission's decision to deny the land reclassification petition and the subsequent appeal. Jill and Representative Ito have continued to oppose new efforts to move the expansion forward.