Debate Rises Over Development Plan for Kailua Marsh

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

At dawn, as traffic jams snake through the Koolau mountain range, the Kawainui Marsh offers a soothing respite from the bustle of Honolulu.

Waterbirds splash about in the foreground of green mountains that jut up into the clouds. The playground for those birds is the state’s largest freshwater wetland, which spans more than 800 acres in Kailua on the east side of the island.

Some residents fear that could change if the state adopts a proposed land use plan that allows for the construction of several buildings and parking lots on the periphery of the marsh.

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