Midway Atoll Closure

November 26, 2013

Location

Midway Atoll

Client

U.S. Navy, Pacific Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Over the course of two years, HHF Planners (HHF) prepared several planning documents to support the U.S. Navy in its efforts to close the U.S. Naval Air Facility (NAF) Midway and transfer its control to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Among these studies were the following:

  • Wildlife Hazards Assessment
  • Cultural Resources Management Plan
  • Bulky Waste Landfill Environmental Assessment
  • Midway Drawdown Plan

HHF initially led a multi-disciplinary team to Midway to conduct field investigations necessary to support baseline assessments of the conditions there and to compile a Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP). The field team included terrestrial and marine wildlife biologists, archaeologists, and architectural historian, a Cold War historian, HABS/HAER photographers, and a botanist.

Other than the logistical challenges of organizing the necessary studies, planners encountered conflicts between environmental regulations (such as the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) and historic preservation regulations (such as the National Historic Preservation Act). The CRMP presented a “win-win” solution satisfactory to the varied stakeholder interests, including several veterans’ organizations, resulting in a programmatic agreement between the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The project won the American Planning Association Hawai‘i Chapter’s Environmental Preservation Award in 1997.

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