Is this a good place for a huge dairy farm?
Carl Berg of Surfrider Foundation, Kauai Chapter, and Bridget
Hammerquist of Friends of Maha'ulepu continue the discussion
regarding opposition to the proposed 2,000-cow industrial dairy on Kauai.
(Listen to our original
show from 11/30/14). Bridget starts the discussion with a summary of the highlights
of Kauai’s South Shore, including the beautiful beaches, the sinkhole,
and the Makauwahi Cave Reserve that provides us with thousands
of years of historical and cultural data about the area.
What will a
herd of cows that starts at 650 and within months, increases to 2,000 cows do
to that region? Just 650 cows will produce 3 million lbs. of manure per month. The
dairy claims that the manure and other waste will be left on the pastures or recycled
back into the pastureland. However, the land is hard clay, and the
area gets a lot of rain. So, per Friends of Maha'ulepu, it
will most likely wash down slope into the ditches, streams,
and the ocean. Not enough has been done to study the situation, and
proper permits have not been issued. The dairy could work if in a
safe place, but the proposed site, less than one mile from Maha’ulepu beach and
the South Shore coastline, is not the right choice. Many States are facing
serious dairy pollution problems affecting freshwater streams and rivers. In
New Zealand, where dairies are prevalent, their pollution problems are
nationwide. Both New Zealand and Washington State are moving their dairy
operations further away from the ocean because the pollution is so bad.
tests have shown high levels of human and animal waste are already in
Waiopili Stream. The pollution levels exceed that of all other streams on the
island combined, and rivals the Ala Wai Canal. The Waiopili, courses
across Grove Farm land, and receives water directly from the proposed Dairy
site, then flowing into the ocean at Maha'ulepu. There are currently about 50
head of cattle and other animals upslope of the stream. If the dairy were to be
approved, it would add huge amounts of waste and cause a significant risk
for toxic runoff as the natural drainage pattern feeds out to the ocean via the
Waiopili Stream. How much more pollution can this coastal region handle? The
Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed the Surfrider pollution
findings through their own testing, yet refuses to post signs on the beach
warning beach goers about unsafe water despite enterococcus readings that are
more than 260x greater than the State limit. Surfrider Foundation, Kauai
Chapter, has done a lot of research and hopes the information they provided
will help move the dairy farm to a more appropriate location.
other work in preparation for the dairy is already being done on Grove
Farm land under current agriculture permits. Dr. Berg, of Surfrider
Foundation, Kauai Chapter, has been testing in the area and has found
levels of pollutants in the ocean have been steadily rising over the past seven
months. His results have also been verified by the University of Hawaii and Department
of Health labs. The problem will only get worse if 650-699 cows, and
eventually 2,000 cows, are imported to Maha’ulepu. An Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) has not yet been done. After the citizens
protested, it was announced, on November 26, 2014, that an EIS will now be
done. Hopefully it will be done by an independent company and will be
Why are we
going to allow a large dairy farm immediately upslope of our ocean when it
has already proven to be such a bad idea in New Zealand and other places?
Preliminary work is already causing problems. The south shore of
Kauai and the Poipu area are one of the biggest tourist areas of
Hawaii. What will happen when all the additional pollution drifts back
onto other beaches in the area? There are other, better areas
to build a dairy on Kauai. Let's take another look and hope the state,
Pierre Omidyar and Grove Farms consider all their options.
website www.friendsofmahaulepu.org for more information, sign a petition, and donate to help
the cause. Also, contact Friends of Maha'ulepu at 808-742-1037, or
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also help by
sending a check to; Friends of Maha'ulepu, P.O. Box: 1654 Koloa, HI 96756.
Visit www.hawaiidairyfarms.com for information about the dairy farm, or
contact Amy Hennessey at 808-544-8973.
Link here to more pictures of Kauai
Link here to
the 12/11/14 story on HawaiiNewsNow.com
Kaohelauli’i, a local resident and cultural spokesman (the Moku, Kona District)
for Kauai, has been sustenance fishing in the Maha’ulepu area for
over 25 years. He says he is very concerned because he now sees
a lot more pollution, and fewer fish since grading and grubbing
began upslope of the area. To see more pictures of the polluted stream and ocean link here.
The south shore
of Kauai is a very beautiful area, and was surveyed as a future National Park
site in 2006 by the National Park’s Service. The sinkhole and Maukauwahi
cave have substantial historical and cultural value. (Visit www.cavereserve.org if you are
interested in a tour of the site.) Nearby Po’ipu is a world class beach enjoyed
by visitors and residents alike. If not a park, the land certainly can be put
to better use then storing 2,000 cows in an industrial dairy. Let's think
Waiopili Stream, flowing into the ocean at Maha'ulepu, is already causing problems due to high levels of bacteria. No signs, like the one pictured below at Kahaluu, have been posted at Maha'ulepu, even though many people use the beach.
Follow: Carroll Cox, Bridget Hammerquist, Friends of Maha'ulepu, Dr. Carl Berg, Surfriders Foundation Kauai Chapter, Waiopili Stream, Hawaii dairy farm, Amy Hennessey, Poipu, Kauai, Makauwahi Cave Reserve, ocean pollution, Grove Farms, Pierre Omidyar.