Chairs Chang and Coffman, Vice Chairs Har and Kawakami, members of the Committees:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii opposes SB2335, which would re-define development in special management areas to exempt niany very different types of activities from the conditions usually placed on developftient in special management areas.
Special management areas have been selected due to their importance and/or fragility. Development in these areas can threaten ocean quality (as in agricultural activites which disturb established plantings), stream quality (as in demolition and removal of structures in the watershed of a natural stream) and even safety ( as in potential cave-ins resulting from repairs or maintenance of underground utilities). We could continue citing many more reasons why SB2335 is unwise.
But instead we briefly remind the Committee of the fragility of Hawaii's coastlines. With expected sea level changes, these areas are already threatened. Our coastlines affect the health of our oceans and their food resources, our recreation, our visitor industry, It is critical to maintain the highest possible level of protection, which means considering impacts and mitigations from the beginning of any planning and permitting process.
Thank you for the opportunity to present testimony.