Kauai News

Historic grant awarded to nonprofit dedicated to North Shore flood mitigation projects

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The Hale Halawai ʻOhana O Hanalei, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to serving Kauaʻi’s north shore community will take on the role of administering and distributing an unprecedented grant through the Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency.

Representative Nadine K. Nakamura discussing Wai’oli stream improvements with taro farmer Bobby Watari (Photo courtesy: State Senate)

This historic grant, totaling $7,285,000, marks the first time the County of Kauaʻi has issued a grant of this size to a nonprofit organization for administration.

“The nonprofit organizations selected to receive the flood mitigation sub-grants have a profound understanding of the challenges faced during and after the historic floods of 2018,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “I am confident of their expertise and commitment in implementing solutions to address the impacts of climate change. Strengthening the resilience of the north shore will ultimately strengthen the resilience for all Kaua‘i.”

Kawakami added that he was also grateful to the State Legislature for their support in providing this funding opportunity through Act 35.


Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura, who serves as the House Majority Leader, along with Senate President Ron Kouchi helped secure these funds in the wake of the 2018 historic flooding.

“I’m pleased that funds will be used to clear invasive hau from stream banks, repair ‘auwai and intakes for taro farmers, and develop community-based solutions for the long-term maintenance of our precious streams,” Nakamura said.

Kati Conant, Executive Director of Hale Halawai ʻOhana O Hanalei, expressed her appreciation to lawmakers and KEMA for their efforts to address flood mitigation in the community.


“This grant presents a unique opportunity for our non-governmental organization network to collaborate and advance flood mitigation efforts to help protect our community,” Conant said. “This is critical given the devastation we experienced from the 2018 historic flood.”

The selected nonprofits will conduct mitigation projects that reduce harm from future flooding events through structural and nonstructural actions, interventions, and investments. Over seven years, this grant funds a comprehensive range of flood mitigation projects, including a key component of community education. These efforts aim to enhance the resilience of Kauaʻi’s north shore community and protect vulnerable populations.

The six nonprofit organizations selected to receive sub-grants from Hale Halawai ʻOhana O Hanalei are:

  • Hanalei Initiative
  • Waiʻoli Valley Taro Hui
  • Waipā Foundation
  • Limahuli Garden and Preserve
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden
  • ʻAina Ho’okupu O Kīlauea
  • EAO Hawaiʻi

For more information about Hale Halawai ʻOhana O Hanalei and its initiatives, visit halehalawai.org.

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