Puakō Marine Education Center

November 27, 2013


Puakō, South Kohala District, Island of Hawai‘i


University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

HHF assisted the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with conceptual site planning, landscape design, and the acquisition of various State and County land use permit approvals required for the proposed marine education and research center at Puakō. Development of the proposed project on a 5-acre undeveloped site adjacent to Puakō Boat Ramp provides a permanent field station for undergraduate marine science and related community outreach programs.

Tasks included preparing the initial site master plan, and the schematic landscape plan and hardscape design to support the preliminary design phase. Using sustainable design principles, the landscape approach is to “re-naturalize” the site utilizing native Hawaiian dryland forest and mesic forest plantings. The design also incorporates bio-swale concepts and an extensive use of a sub-surface drip irrigation system, as well as a rain water catchment system.

HHF also prepared an environmental assessment, supported a County subdivision application, and facilitated approval of a State Conservation District Use Permit and County Special Management Area Use Permit. HHF was instrumental in supporting UHH’s community consultations, and addressing community concerns about potential development impacts.


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